City ready to raise the roof at Carrow Road
21st August 2011
Premier League football returns to Norfolk this afternoon as the Canaries welcome Stoke City to Carrow Road.
Both sides got off to solid starts last week, Stoke drawing 0-0 with Chelsea at the Britannia and the Yellows being held to a 1-1 draw at Wigan.
Carrow Road is completely sold-out so the stage is set for a cracking atmosphere which Paul Lambert will be hoping his side can convert to three points.
The Potters have only won once at the home of football in the last sixteen years, but that was on their last visit, in March 2008.
City chief Paul Lambert is not expecting an easy ride against the Potters, telling canaries.co.uk:
'It's a really tough game, I thought they played excellently against Chelsea last week, so it just shows you what level we have to play at if we want to be up there.
'Every point you get in this league, you have to cherish it and I was delighted with some aspects of our game against Wigan, so hopefully that's something we'll get better at.'
Stoke manager Tony Pulis (stokecityfc.com):
'In many ways, Norwich are an old fashioned club like ourselves in that they have an owner who is a local person and a massive supporter.
'They have a great set of supporters who must be relishing the chance to see their side in the Premier League after what they have achieved over the past couple of seasons, and they will want to make home advantage count.'
Norwich City Team News:
Zak Whitbread faces a late fitness test after picking up a knock against Wigan last weekend and was replaced by Leon Barnett, but new signing Daniel Ayala is expected to get the nod if the big American fails to recover in time.
Elliott Ward and James Vaughan are still out.
Player to watch: Steve Morison
Rightly named man of the match last week and was a thorn in the Wigan side all afternoon.
Stoke City Team News:
Stoke are expecting to welcome Jonathan Woodgate back into the starting line-up after resting the fragile former Leeds, Newcastle and Spurs man against FC Thun on Thursday evening in the Europa League.
Matthew Etherington was a doubt for the Thun game but played 74 minutes before being replaced by Diego Arismendi so he is almost certain to start.
Rory Delap is rated as doubtful with a hamstring problem but Asmir Begovic and Jermaine Pennant are likely to return.
Player to watch: Jonathan Walters
Ex-Ipswich man, just signed a new contract. Need we say more? Actually yes, click here to read it.
Last Time Round:
Norwich City 0 Stoke City 1
Coca-Cola Football League Championship
Tuesday 11th March 2008
Mamady Sidibe's header gave the Potters all three points the last time Stoke came to Carrow Road. More...
Lancashire official Neil Swarbrick is the man in charge of this afternoon's game. More...
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Chelsea v Norwich City
Saturday 27th August, 3pm