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Potters v Canaries preview

Norwich City
vs.
Stoke City

Carrow Road

March 4th 2006

3pm

Stoke make the long cross country trek to Norwich this weekend as they seek to capitalise on their win last week against Millwall. Hopefully Stoke are coming out of a thin vein of form and can make the most of one the League's other underperforming clubs and snatch three points at Carrow Road.

Vital Quotes:

Johan Boskamp has had words with Paul Gallagher after last week's match, explaining to him that any goal counts.
'Sometimes he should shoot straight,' said the Bos, 'but he always wants to make a nice goal with a curling shot. I tell him that ugly goals count also.'

Norwich City Team News:

Norwich have recently lost former Crewe player, Dean Ashton, to West Ham but quickly sunk the money back into the squad by buying Rob Earnshaw from West Brom for 3.5m.

Earnshaw will start alongside former Potter, Peter Thorne, who moved from the bright lights of South Wales to the even brighter lights of Norfolk in the summer.

Player to watch: Rob Earnshaw

Any team in the Championship that is prepared to splash out 3.5m for a striker needs him to deliver.
Darren Huckerby is also dangerous when in form. Luckily for Stoke, he was sent off in our last encounter with Norwich earlier this season.

Stoke City Team News:

For Stoke, Sammy Bangoura (plus plaster cast on his broken hand) will start upfront. Mamade Sidibe is out after having an operation on Monday to correct his broken nose. Carl Hoefkens and Dave Brammer are both suspended for the game after reaching five yellow cards, but Peter Sweeney will play after the back trouble that caused him to be substituted last week was not as bad as first feared. Darel Russell and Paul Gallagher should also both start after appearing as substitutes last week

Player to watch: Sam Bangoura

With or without a plaster cast, he should be a threat. If Paul Gallagher can also repeat last week's performance, then things could get interesting.

Match Facts & Stats

Stoke won the first round this season, with an emphatic 3-1 win at the Brit back in August.
But both sides are locked together at 12 wins apiece in their 32 meetings.

Ref Watch:

P Crossley

Match Prediction:

If our defence can hold together again (and its been getting far better now that Clint Hill is back), then a Stoke win has to be on the cards.

Next Fixtures:

Tuesday 7th March: v Wolves (AWAY) Kick-off 7.45pm
Monday 13th March: v Crystal Palace (HOME) Kick-off 7.45pm (Sky TV)


Writer:Chris Baldwin
Date:Friday March 3 2006
Time: 6:43PM

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League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Chelsea 33 25 3 5 78 40
2 Spurs 32 21 8 3 71 46
3 Liverpool 34 19 9 6 66 28
4 Man City 32 19 7 6 64 28
5 Man Utd 32 17 12 3 63 26
6 Everton 34 16 10 8 58 23
7 Arsenal 31 17 6 8 57 23
8 WBA 33 12 8 13 44 -3
9 Southampton 32 11 7 14 40 -5
10 Watford 33 11 7 15 40 -17
11 Stoke 34 10 9 15 39 -13
12 Crystal Palace 33 11 5 17 38 -7
13 AFC Bournemouth 34 10 8 16 38 -14
14 West Ham 34 10 8 16 38 -15
15 Leicester City 32 10 7 15 37 -12
16 Burnley 34 10 6 18 36 -16
17 Hull City 34 9 6 19 33 -31
18 Swansea 34 9 4 21 31 -29
19 Middlesbrough 33 4 12 17 24 -20
20 Sunderland 32 5 6 21 21 -32
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