Stoke to shut-out goal-shy Canaries - Betting Preview
Stoke (19/20) take on Norwich (7/2, draw 12/5) looking to get back on track after their 3-1 defeat at Arsenal last weekend.
It ended the Potters' three match unbeaten run, but the fact of the matter is they are more easy on the eye these days under Mark Hughes while still maintaining their fighting spirit that served them so well under Tony Pulis.
Hughes gets his fair share of criticism, but other than his tough spell in charge of QPR he has done well with all the teams he's managed, and he'll again be thinking of a top half finish and possible push for Europe with Stoke.
They should be able to continue their solid start against a Norwich side which are showing no signs of improvement from last season's goal-scoring problems.
The Canaries, along with Norwich, were in the bottom three for goals last season, and they're currently on a 202 minutes run without scoring in the Premier League.
They bought in Ricky van Wolfswinkel (8/1 FGS) in the summer and it looked like a masterstroke as the Dutchman scored on his debut against Everton, overall though he's only had two shots on target from 450 minutes of action - not the sort of return you'd want for an £8.5M outlay.
If you think the former Sporting man can break his barren run we're offering you 7/1 he manages to net in a victory over Stoke, it's enhanced from 11/2.
Gary Hooper (15/2) is fit now to take some of the pressure of RVW's shoulders, and having scored two during the week in the Capital One Cup he'll be desperate to prove he can cut it in the top flight after being so prolific in Scotland.
When the front two can settle then Norwich will surely get themselves away from danger as their creative players are too good not to start laying on the goals, for now though I expect them to leave the Potteries empty handed.
Norwich not won at the Britannia since 1997, and they've only scored once there in their last four visits.
With Stoke's resolute defence, I'm expecting another tight game to go the way of the home side - our Opta offer on this match is a fantastic-looking 2/1 on the hosts winning to nil, 1-0 in particular is very attractive at 6/1.
Kenwyne Jones (13/2) is the team's leading scorer with three, and we go 3/1 from 21/10 that the tall Trinidadian nets another in a home victory.
As already mentioned, both teams struggle to hit the back of the net so in our Total Match Goals Under/Over market, 2/1 on under 1.5 is extremely tempting considering it has come in five times in their last seven meetings, if you're not feeling as brave then you can still get a reasonable 6/10 on under 2.5.
Neither team have any new injury worries - Stephen Ireland (14/1) should be fit despite coming off during the week while Erik Pieters will return after his ban, for Norwich Sebastien Bassong's stop-start season is off again after he pulled-up against Aston Villa last week.