Premier League Preview: Stoke City - Norwich City

Alex Fisher
September 27, 2013
Premier League Preview: Stoke City - Norwich City

Mark Hughes will aim to maintain Stoke City's unbeaten home start on Sunday when the Potters face Norwich City at the Britannia Stadium.

Stoke picked up three points against Crystal Palace and drew with Manchester City in its previous two home Premier League matches, with a 3-1 Capital One Cup win over Walsall sandwiched between those results, and Hughes is urging his side to press the visitors in an attempt to extend that run.

"We're the home team on Sunday, and we need to take the game to Norwich," Hughes told the press ahead of the 50th meeting between the two sides. "We feel that this is an important game for us. If there are any areas in the Norwich team that we can exploit then we will do.

"It's not an easy fixture but we're looking to get the win. We need maximum points from all our home games if we can - we have a few bumps and bruises but [the players] should be fine."

The hosts will be confident of picking up all three points against Chris Hughton's side, given that Norwich has not won at Stoke since 1997, and never at the Britannia Stadium. The visitors have gone 202 minutes without scoring in the Premier League, the longest current run in the league.

Nathan Redmond scored that goal in their home win over Southampton at the end of the August, those being the last points that Hughton's side picked up. They have since lost to both Tottenham and Aston Villa, which, combined with their defeat to Hull City Tigers in August, is the first time that they have lost more than two of their opening five top-flight games since 1990-91.

Hughton has an injury doubt over Sebastien Bassong (hamstring), while Elliott Bennett (knee) is a long-term absentee. There is more positive news on Ricky van Wolfswinkel, though, after the striker overcame a foot injury to make the squad.

Erik Pieters (calf), Marc Muniesa (groin) and Jamie Ness (hip) are all doubtful for Stoke, but Hughes expects them and Matthew Etherington, who was in a car accident in midweek, to be available.