The Potters earned a surprise 1-0 win over Arsenal last time out but, with their talisman missing the next three games, will be cautious of a side to which they lost in September.Norwich City has made a habit of reacting well to heavy defeats this season and will need to do so again against Stoke City on Saturday.
The Canaries suffered a 4-1 defeat at former manager Paul Lambert's Aston Villa on Sunday, conceding four goals in 16 first-half minutes, but Chris Hughton has a good track record of picking his players up off the floor.
Norwich followed up a 7-0 defeat at Manchester City with a 3-1 win against West Ham in November, earned a 2-0 win at West Brom on the back of a 5-1 loss at Liverpool in December, and responded to a 3-0 FA Cup reverse at Fulham by claiming a 1-0 league triumph over Hull City in January.
In contrast, Saturday's visiting side comes into this clash on the back of one of the most impressive victories of the season, a 1-0 home win against Arsenal.
Indeed, the last two wins in the Premier League have come against two of the division's heavyweights in the shape of the Gunners and Manchester United.
That said, Mark Hughes's men have a dismal away record in the English top flight this season and have not won a league game on the road since August's 1-0 victory at West Ham.
Since then, the Potters have picked up just three points from a possible 36 away from home and Norwich's record of having kept four consecutive clean sheets at Carrow Road should make the visitor's job even tougher.
Norwich claimed a 1-0 victory in the reverse fixture in September and seven of the last eight meetings between these sides have been settled by a one-goal margin - the tie before that record started ended 5-0 in Stoke's favor.
The Norfolk side will be hoping that Ricky van Wolfswinkel can find his shooting boots. The Dutchman has registered just four shots on target in his 18 Premier League appearances and has not scored since the opening day of the campaign.
This is the third-lowest-scoring fixture in Premier League history, with an average strike rate of 1.2 goals, but Hughton is confident that his side - sitting 15th in the table - can leapfrog 13th-placed Stoke.
"They're on the back of a good result against Arsenal but we're very close in this league table and a win on Saturday gives us the opportunity to go above them in the league - that's how tight it is," he told the club's official website.
Norwich will be without Leroy Fer (hamstring), Michael Turner (hamstring) and Jonas Gutierrez (calf), while Van Wolfswinkel could be in line for a start after shaking off a knee injury and Robert Snodgrass (calf) is returning to fitness.
Charlie Adam misses out for the visiting side as he serves the first match of a three-game ban for an apparent stamp on Arsenal's Olivier Giroud.