The Potters face Norwich at Carrow Road on Saturday in a tie that the hosts have dominated over the years. When the sides met in Norwich last season, the Canaries won 3-1 despite Stoke having the majority of the chances, yet the most recent meeting ended in a 0-0 draw with Angus Gunn making 9 saves.
The Canaries have started the season in great form and their efforts has put them in 5th place, after winning three games, drawing once, and losing once. David Wagner has created an attack first approach which his side seem to have taken to with ease. Norwich are the leagues top scorers currently, having scored 14 goals in just five games with 20-year-old Jonathan Rowe scoring four goals and starring for his side.
However, Norwich’s positive start to the season hit a brick wall last time out, losing 2-1 away to struggling Rotherham. Over confidence and complacency may have kicked in, as Rotherham took a 2-0 lead going into the break. Rowe assisted Christian Fassnacht five minutes after halftime yet they were unable to breakdown the stubborn low block despite dominating the possession.
The Potters started the season in emphatic fashion with a convincing 4-1 win at home to Rotherham, but since then, they have lost three out of their last four with a 1-0 home win versus Watford sandwiched in the middle. This puts Stoke in 16th place on six points. Recently, goals have been hard to come by for Alex Neil’s side and 80% of their total goals scored came in that game against the Millers, which will certainly worry the boss.
Last time out, Stoke failed to score in consecutive games, losing 2-0 at home to top of the table Preston. The Potters performed well and arguably should have won the game based on the amount of shots and possession they accumulated, but a lack of creativity haunted them. Neil’s side registered 17 shots and 9 corners, but they didn’t create a big chance all game and they were unable to get their centre forward, Wesley, involved at all. Stoke had 19 shots on the road the week before that also against Millwall, but they lost 1-0, highlighting finishing as a clear issue that must be addressed ahead of the weekend.
Norwich and Stoke will both be looking to put last weeks defeat behind them by claiming three points on Saturday. Given the Potters struggle in front of goal (other than against Rotherham), Norwich should have enough to edge the visitors.
The final prediction is Norwich 2-1 Stoke City.