Norwich City vs Stoke City


Sunderland may have been poor last week, but Norwich must be praised for seizing the opportunity and beating the black Cats with such ruthless efficiency. Goals from Russell Martin, Steve Whittaker and Nathan Redmond led to a 3-1 victory and gave the newly promoted side their first win of the season after they had suffered an opening day defeat to Crystal Palace. There will definitely be some temptation for Norwich manager Alex Neil to select the same starting line-up that beat Sunderland. After all, if it isn’t broken, why change things?

Stoke showed they must be taken seriously after earning a creditable draw at Spurs even though they were 2 goals down at some point in the game. Mark Hughes will hope his side can build on the momentum generated at White Hart Lane. However, their away records haven’t been particularly pleasing to the eye. They have picked up just 3 points from the last 18 points available away from home and have scored 4 goals in those games. The absence of Bojan and Peter Odemwingie would make it even more difficult for those records to be improved upon.

Alex Niel has enjoyed a fantastic start to life at Carrow Road. He has won 18 of the 27 games he has overseen for Norwich, and in that period oversaw the Canaries’ return to the big league. Many of those wins may have come in the Championship, there is no doubt that he is building a stubborn side that could cause problems for many teams on their day. If recent records between the two teams count for anything, Norwich City should feel confident going into this one. They have lost just once in 10 games against Stoke at Carrow Road, winning five of them and drawing four.

Team News


Kyle Lafferty, Martin Olsson and Youssef Mulumbu are all unavailable due to injuries.

Stoke City

Xherdan Shaqiri could make his English football debut after serving his one match suspension carried over from the Coppa Italia. Marc Wilson could also make his first appearance of the new season while Bojan will probably not be fit enough to participate following his long-term injury. Ryan Shawcross and Peter Odemwingie are injured.


Preview: Norwich Vs Crystal Palace

Norwich will be looking to win on the opening day for the first time in 13 years as they make their return to the Premier League. They return to the top division following a 2-0 Play off final victory over Middlesbrough. Andre Wisdom and Robbie Brady could both make their debuts for Norwich for the home side who will be hoping for a better performance in the premier league this time around. Crystal Palace, meanwhile, have lost their last four season openers.


Alan Pardew’s side impressed after he took over at the club last season. Their improvement was remarkable and if last season’s premier league had started after he took over, Crystal Palace would have finished 6th. The Canaries have scored exactly once in 10 of their last 12 league games against Palace, failing to score in each of the other two. Palace do have good memories of their recent visits to Carrow Road and have only lost two of their last seven visits and winning three of their last five.

Norwich will know however that of they are to remain in the top division, a lot of it will depend on the ability of Bradley Johnson to replicate his last season Championship form which saw him net 15 goals. No Championship midfielder scored more goals last term than the Norwich midfielder; level with Matt Ritchie and Bakary Sako. Norwich under Alex Niel last season were impressive for long spells and won 68% of their regular season league games under Alex Neil last term.

Team News


Youssouf Mulumbu misses out after undergoing an operation on a fractured metatarsal. Martin Olsson and Kyle Lafferty are also unavailable to Alex Neil due to shoulder and knee injuries respectively.

Crystal Palace

Yohan Cabaye and Connor Wickham are set to make their debuts for Palace, but Julian Speroni is expected to miss the first three games of the season with a finger injury so either Wayne Hennessey or another new signing, Alex McCarthy, will start in goal for the visitors. Marouane Chamakh has a hamstring injury.