Stoke vs Norwich preview
1st December 2007
How difficult Stoke make the game on Saturday depends entirely on which team turns out. If it's the one that played in the first half on Tuesday against QPR, fans should be in for a good game - if it's the timid lot that don't like being 2-0 up against 10 men, then we're in trouble.
Although the Canaries are in bottom spot, they may have turned the corner now that new manager, Glenn Roeder is in charge. Good wins against Coventry and Blackpool in the last seven days have helped boost confidence in East Anglia and they'll be no push-over at the Brit.
The Potters will be hoping for a bumper crowd with the help of the Sentinel's £6 ticket promotion and if we can get 20,000 plus at the Brit it promises to be a cracking atmosphere.
Tony Pulis agrees that Norwich will not be an easy side, but thinks his team are up for it on what will be his 200th game for the club. He told the official site: 'It will definitely be another difficult game. We came up against an improving QPR side on Tuesday and on Saturday it's the same again with Norwich.
'But our team has shown great spirit and togetherness so far this season.
Adding: 'I've just been down the dressing room and all the lads are in fine form, the banter is good and we are looking forward to the game.'
Stoke City Team News:
Stephen Wright looks set to be absent after picking up a groin strain in the QPR match. Dom Matteo may make it after putting off an op on his ankle. But, if he does play, will have to have a pain-killing injection before the game.
Player to watch: Ricardo Fuller
Fuller is desperately overdue another goal and was unlucky to not be on Tuesday's score sheet with a rasping shot that hit the goal post square on and another one that he blazed over the bar that should have been buried in the back of the net.
Norwich City Team News:
Former Potter Darel Russell is eagerly awaiting his first trip back to the Brit since his summer move back to the Canaries. They should keep an unchanged side if Dion Dublin is deemed fit enough to start his third game in a week. Darren Huckerby may get a start after coming back from suspension, but Roeder may choose not to change a winning team.
Player to watch: Darel Russell
The midfielder was popular whilst at the Brit, but his decision to move back to Norwich so that he could be closer to his family in London left a hole that the Potters have yet to properly fill.
Match Facts & Stats
If we can repeat last season's 5-0 victory at the Brit it will be a game worth remembering.
Tuesday 4th December: Sheffield United (away) kick-off: 7.45pm
Sunday 9th December: Watford (home) kick-off: 1.15pm (Sky TV)
Saturday 15th December: Blackpool (away) kick-off: 3pm