Writer: Jamie Chapman
Date:Thursday September 26 2013
The Britannia Stadium
These teams meet on the back of League Cup progression. Stoke City dismantled Tranmere Rovers whilst Gary Hooper rescued the tie for Norwich away at Watford, with his first two goals for the club. Both teams also come into this game on the back of a loss, though losing at the Emirates is a little easier to take than at Benteke-less Villa Park.
Norwich have looked lacklustre so far this season and the signings of three new strikers, Johan Elmander, Gary Hooper and Ricky Van Wolfswinkel are yet to deliver on their promise. Stoke on the other hand are enjoying some positive recognition from the English media and deservedly so. The worry for most Stoke fans, particularly pro- Pulis Stoke fans is that their team may be sacrificing substance for style. That worry is so far unjustified. In Pulis` reign, Stoke City had never lost at the Britannia Stadium to Man City and also never won at the Emirates in the Premier League. Both of those records remain. The fact of the matter is, after five games played in the Premier League season, it`s too early to judge whether Hughes` appointment was the right choice results wise, but it is not too early to say that the majority of our fans are now enjoying watching their team a whole lot more.
The focus of Sunday`s meeting will no doubt be on both teams` misfiring strikers. Stoke`s two main striking options, Peter Crouch and Kenwyne Jones, are still yet to score a goal between them in the Premier League. Norwich`s new look strike force hasn`t overly impressed either with Ricky Van Wolfswinkel solitary goal on the opening weekend their only talking point. Ironically, both teams` dud strikers have enjoyed a rich run of form in the League Cup, though. Kenwyne Jones hat-trick in the 2nd round the stand out performance of the lot.
I watched Norwich`s trip away to Villa Park and I noticed two things. Firstly, almost all of Norwich`s play is through Robert Snodgrass. He missed a penalty last week but he has proved an instrumental signing since his move from Leeds at the start of last season. The second thing I noticed is the quality of Norwich`s new signing, Leroy Fer. The summer signing from Twente has been compared to Patrick Vieira in the past and was inspirational. He was personally my man of the match vs. Aston Villa. The Dutch international was always on hand to sweep up the midfield mess and often looked dangerous surging forward through the middle.
Stoke City enjoyed a much richer performance away at Arsenal last week but in the end schoolboy defending and a rare mediocre game by Asmir Begovic cost the Potters. Arsenal have been lauded as one of the greatest passing sides of our generation and Stoke controlled them with ease(cue the Gunner abuse). A stand out performer in that game was Marco Arnautovic, making his full City debut. The Austrian looked hungry and to my surprise had the Pulis "work 'arrd" mentality. That is topped by another steady performance against Tranmere. Many Stoke fans are hoping he gets the nod against Norwich, including me. You get the feeling his best is yet to come.
Erik Pieters missed the trip to Tranmere, whilst Stephen Ireland came off in that game with a slight knock.
An instant hit. You can tell that this boy has got that touch of magic that the Brit has been missing since our favourite Jamaican departed.
No news is good news for Norwich.
The Scotland international has a wicked left foot, his deliveries are Norwich's main source of goals.
Stoke have created 41 chances this season, Norwich have created 34.
Stoke City`s chance conversion is 9.76% and Norwich`s is 8.83%.
Both teams are goal shy this season, bagging only 7 goals between them.
Here's one we made earlier; Ref Watch: Taylor to officiate Stoke v Norwich
Lightning won`t strike twice and Asmir Begovic will be back to his sprightly self on Sunday. A tight defensive display and two well taken goals by Adam and Jones. 2- 0, you heard it here first.
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Date:Thursday September 26 2013
Super sub Assaidi stuns Chelsea (Sunday December 8 2013)
Stats: Stoke City v Chelsea (Sunday December 8 2013)
Stoke host high flying Chelsea (Friday December 6 2013)
Begovic wins Everton man of the match poll (Friday December 6 2013)
Ref Watch: Moss to officiate Stoke v Chelsea (Friday December 6 2013)
Stats: Stoke City v Cardiff City (Friday December 6 2013)
Blunt Potters held to bore draw (Friday December 6 2013)
Stoke City take on old rivals Cardiff City (Tuesday December 3 2013)
Toffees Trounce Poor Potters (Tuesday December 3 2013)
Stoke's mini injury crisis ahead of Cardiff visit (Tuesday December 3 2013)
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