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Premier League Preview: Stoke City v Norwich City

Stoke City and Norwich City will both be riding when they go head-to-head in the Premier League on Saturday.

Both sides are fresh from victories in their mos recent outings, with Tony Pulis’ men recording a much-needed 2-0 victory against Queens Park Rangers, while Chris Hughton’s side ended a six-match winless run with a 2-1 triumph over Reading.

The three points came in handy for both teams and the winner at the Britannia Stadium will be assured of a spot in the Premier League in 2013-14.

The loser will still likely be a part of the top flight, but they will still have to endure a nervy finish to the season – with only six points separating Stoke from the bottom three, with Norwich one point better off.

Adding an extra element of intrigue is the fact 18th-placed Wigan have a game in hand.

But Pulis will simply be pleased his side were able to score multiple times and win against the all-but relegated QPR.

However, it makes for dim viewing that Stoke’s only scalps since the turn of the year have been the bottom two clubs.

Norwich have similarly only had two league wins in 2013 – over Reading and Everton – and they will be looking to end any lingering fears over relegation.

The Carrow Road club’s form makes for much more encouraging reading than that of their upcoming opponents – the Canaries have led heading into the final 20 minutes in each of their past three games, only to take a collective four points from them.

Swansea pulled a goal back to draw, while Arsenal ran all over them late at the Emirates before Hughton’s men held on to beat the Reading – who are set to join QPR in dropping to the Championship next term.

In injury news, goalkeeper John Ruddy and full-back Steven Whittaker should be fit from knee injuries to rejoin the squad for Norwich. Andrew Surman (knee) and Michael Turner (groin) remain out.

Stoke’s only injury concern is Matthew Etherington (back), who could be in the mix for selection.

Etherington was the match-winner last time these teams met at the same venue, scoring the only goal in a 1-0 triumph in March 2012.

Earlier this season, Norwich were victorious at home 1-0 – ending a four-match winless run against Stoke – courtesy of a Bradley Johnson goal.

Thu 25 April, 2013
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