Draw between Stoke and Norwich City is well fancied as low scorers meet again

Steven Whittaker and Peter Crouch battle for the ball the last time Norwich City faced Stoke. Pictur

Steven Whittaker and Peter Crouch battle for the ball the last time Norwich City faced Stoke. Picture: Paul Chesterton / Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City and Stoke appear to have established a familiar routine when they meet nowadays. Both sides first set out not to lose the fixture, then they defend like fury, launch an occasional attack – though neither scores very often – and after 90-odd minutes, the players shake hands having registered a 1-0 win or shared the points.

The pair's last three meetings have ended in such a manner and it's little wonder that BetVictor's 12/5 for the points to be shared tomorrow afternoon has been so well supported.

In fact, the likelihood of another stalemate has resulted in punters taking advantage of several prices, including Skybet's 9/2 for both halves to end inconclusively and William Hill's 11/10 for the teams to leave for their half-time cuppa with the scores level.

Home advantage accounts for Stoke's status as bet365's 11/10 jollies, whereas the Canaries, two places above them in the table, are quoted at 3/1 by Coral.

Both sides enjoyed potentially pivotal successes last week, with Norwich securing their first win in seven and Stoke winning for the first time in eight. Despite these vital victories, each side's recent form enhances the likelihood of tomorrow's encounter finishing all square.


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Accordingly, Paddy Power's 2/1 for the opening 45 minutes to end goalless cannot be discounted and, as neither team has been renowned for its goalscoring prowess this term, Stan James's 11/1 for it to finish 0-0 at 90 minutes falls into a similar category.

Of course, the threat of being drawn into a relegation battle will weigh heavily on the minds of both teams and bet365's 7/2 odds for the match to be a score draw have been well backed. Similarly, BetVictor's 13/2, marked about a 1-1 result, has proved attractive enough to attract a steady flow of business.

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Backers anticipating a conclusive outcome have much – and plenty of lengthy odds – from which to select. Among the two most appealing are Ladbrokes' 17/4 for Norwich to enjoy a one-goal margin of victory and Stan James's hefty-looking 17/2 for a 1-0 away win.

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