Premier League Preview: Stoke City v Norwich City
By Football News
Mark Hughes will aim to maintain Stoke City's unbeaten home start on Sunday when they face Norwich City at the Britannia Stadium.
Hughes' side picked up three points against Crystal Palace and drew with Manchester City in their previous two home Premier League matches, with a 3-1 League Cup win over Walsall sandwiched between those results, and Hughes is urging his side to press Norwich in an attempt to extend that run.
"We're the home team on Sunday and we need to take the game to Norwich," Hughes said 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 they (the players) should be fine for the weekend."
Stoke will be confident of picking up all three points against Chris Hughton's side given that Norwich have not won at Stoke since 1997, and have never won at the Britannia Stadium.
The visitors arrive at the Britannia having gone 202 minutes without scoring in the league – the longest current run in the division.
Nathan Redmond scored that goal in their home win over Southampton at the end of the August, and they were the last points that Hughton's side picked up in the Premier League.
They have since lost to both Tottenham and Aston Villa which - combined with their defeat to Hull City last month - 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 this week – to be available.