Stoke vs Norwich preview: Canaries on verge of promotion back to Premier League
Last Updated: 21/04/19 2:27pm
Norwich could secure a return to the Premier League against Stoke on Easter Monday, should they win and results fall in their favour.
Canaries boss Daniel Farke will have midfielder Emi Buendia available again following a three-match ban, while on-loan striker Jordan Rhodes should be back in the squad after he was ineligible to play against parent club Sheffield Wednesday.
Mario Vrancic is pressing for a starting place after the midfielder came off the bench to score a fine free-kick deep into stoppage time to secure a 2-2 draw against the Owls. Midfielder Louis Thompson and forward Carlton Morris have stepped up their recoveries following injury lay-offs, so could be in contention.
Stoke could have goalkeeper Jack Butland back in contention for the visit of the Championship leaders. Butland sat out the 1-0 defeat at Middlesbrough on Good Friday, having become a father for the first time overnight, as Adam Federici deputised between the posts.
Defenders Ryan Shawcross and Bruno Martins Indi both missed the Boro game through unspecified injuries, so 17-year-old Nathan Collins could feature again. Midfielder Tom Ince continues his recovery from a hamstring problem.
Stoke haven't completed a league double over Norwich since the 2007-08 season.
Norwich are winless in their last four league matches against Stoke (W0 D2 L2) since a 1-0 win in September 2013.
Stoke didn't attempt a single shot in the second half of their last home league game against Rotherham, with their final shot of the match coming in the 40th minute when they were 2-0 up; they drew 2-2.
Norwich have won six of their last seven league matches on Easter Monday (W6 D0 L1), with their one defeat coming against QPR in April last year.
Stoke haven't fallen behind in any of their last five home Championship matches, since losing 0-1 to West Brom in February.
Norwich have won 11 away league matches this season, only winning more in two previous campaigns - 12 in 2009-10 and 13 in 2014-15; they were promoted in both seasons.
Daniel Farke's men huffed and puffed at times in their 2-2 draw with Sheffield Wednesday, but should they beat the Potters and both Leeds and Sheffield United lose on Monday, the Canaries will clinch the Championship title with two games to spare.
Stoke fans will be desperate to see the end of this season after a frustrating season of consolidation. Nathan Jones has previously stated his intent to create an atmosphere similar to the one he built at Luton, but that's for next season and I can't see them taking anything here.
David Prutton predicts: 1-2 (8/1 with Sky Bet)