Stoke City v Norwich City
Barclays Premier League
Sunday 29 September 2013
SCENE SETTER //
VICTORY for Stoke City on Sunday afternoon would represent the best start to a Premier League campaign for the Club, eclipsing the nine points the side recorded from the opening six league games in 2010/11.
The Potters have recorded seven points from their five fixtures this term thanks to victories against Crystal Palace and West Ham United, as well as a thoroughly deserved point against title favourites Manchester City at the Britannia Stadium last time out.
Defeats in the games away at Liverpool and Arsenal remain the only blotches on a very positive start to the season for the Club, having safely overcome League One sides Walsall and Tranmere Rovers in the opening two rounds of the Capital One Cup.
Norwich City meanwhile, have endured an indifferent start to the 2013/14 season, winning just one of their opening five Premier League games.
Despite an outlay of over £21 million in the summer, Chris Hughton’s side have struggled to find form in the league, succumbing to defeats against newly-promoted Hull City, Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa.
They did record victory midweek however, after coming from behind against Watford in Round 3 of the Capital One Cup thanks to a brace from debutant Gary Hooper.
HONOURS LIST //
Second Division / Championship Winners:
1971/72, 1985/86 and 2003/04.
Third Division / League One Winners:
Football League Cup Winners:
1961/62 and 1984/85
League: won 15, drawn 14, lost 17
FA Cup: won 1 , drawn 0, lost 0
League Cup: won 0, drawn 0, lost 2
Total: won 16, drawn 14, lost 19
LAST SIX MEETINGS //
Apr 2013 / SCFC 1-0 NCFC
Nov 2012 / NCFC 1-0 SCFC
Mar 2012 / SCFC 1-0 NCFC
Aug 2011 / NCFC 1-1 SCFC
Mar 2008 / NCFC 0-1 SCFC
Dec 2007 / SCFC 2-1 NCFC
THE LAST SIX //
STOKE CITY v
Crystal Palace (h) – Won 2-1
Walsall (h) – Won 3-1
West Ham United (a) – Won 1-0
Manchester City (h) – Drew 0-0
Arsenal (a) – Lost 3-1
Tranmere Rovers (h) – Won 2-0
NORWICH CITY v
Hull City (a) - Lost 1-0
Bury (h) - Won 6-3
Southampton (h) - Won 1-0
Tottenham (a) - Lost 2-0
Aston Villa (h) - Lost 1-0
Watford (a) - Won 3-2
RECENT STARTING XI //
Stoke City v Tranmere Rovers //
Sorensen; Cameron, Shawcross, Huth, Muniesa; Pennant, Ireland, Palacios, Whelan, Arnautovic; Crouch.
Watford v Norwich City //
Bunn; Whittaker, Martin, Bennett, Garrido; Redmond, Tettey, Johnson, Olsson; Hoolahan, Hooper.
TEAM NEWS //
BOTH Mark Hughes and Chris Hughton are expected to make a number of changes to their starting elevens following the mid-week Capital One Cup encounters.
The pair made a number of changes to their respective sides, with Hughes introducing seven new players to the side for the comfortable 2-0 win at Prenton Park.
Asmir Begovic is certain to resume his duties in goal, whilst the likes of Steven Nzonzi, Jonathan Walters and Marc Wilson should feature having been rested on Wednesday.
Peter Crouch’s goal has given Hughes food for thought in attack, but Kenwyne Jones remains the favourite to get the nod having impressed throughout the opening weeks of the season.
Erik Pieters is expected to be fit, having missed the game against Tranmere through injury. Matthew Etherington is a potential absentee after suffering whiplash in a minor car accident on Friday morning.
THE MAN IN CHARGE //
2013/14 Record: 3 games / 15 yellow cards / 1 red cards.
THE Cheshire born official will oversee this weekend’s clash at the Britannia Stadium, having been handed only his fourth match of the campaign thus far.
The highly respected referee took charge of Arsenal’s opening day defeat at home to Aston Villa, in which he dismissed Laurent Koscielny, whilst he also oversaw Cardiff’s goalless draw with Everton and Swindon Town’s recent 3-2 win over Bristol City.
THIS WEEKENDS FIXTURES //
Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea (12:45)
Aston Villa v Manchester City
Fulham v Cardiff City
Hull City v West Ham United
Manchester United v West Bromwich Albion
Southampton v Crystal Palace
Swansea City v Arsenal (17:30)
Stoke City v Norwich City (13:30)
Sunderland v Liverpool (16:00)
Everton v Newcastle (20:00)