Norwich City - West Ham Preview: Hughton still searching for his first win in the Canaries hot-seat
Having recovered from the 5-0 opening day defeat at Fulham to pick up a couple of creditable draws, the new boss will be hoping to get his first win under his belt at Carrow Road
By Al Hain-Cole
Martin, Barnett, Bassong, Garrido
Snodgrass, Howson, Johnson, Pilkington
WEST HAM UNITED
Demel, Tomkins, Collins, McCartney
Vaz Te, Noble, Diame, Taylor
Winston Reid's jet lag after returning from international duty in New Zealand means that James Tomkins should start alongside James Collins in the centre of defence.
Matt Taylor's goal and assist in the 3-0 win over Fulham last game should be enough for him to keep his place in the team ahead of record signing Matt Jarvis, who has now returned from a thigh injury.
Meanwhile, George McCartney has recovered from the ankle injury that kept him out the Fulham game, and should start at left-back.
Andy Carroll's hamstring injury on his impressive debut means that Carlton Cole should make his 150th start for the club, despite competition from Modibo Maiga.
Jack Collison returned to training earlier this week after missing three months with a knee injury, but it is still too soon for him to play any part on Saturday.
Norwich City manager Chris Hughton has no fresh injury concerns following the international break, after all of his players returned unscathed.
Russell Martin is fit to start after withdrawing from the Scotland squad with an ankle injury but Elliott Bennett is still absent with a knee injury, and Steven Whittaker is yet to recover from an ankle injury sustained in pre-season.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Norwich have not beaten West Ham since 1994, when a Mark Robins goal gave them a 1-0 win at Carrow Road.
- Five of the last six league meetings between the two sides have ended as draws.
- The hosts have kept just one clean sheet in their last 17 Premier League games.
- No team has had fewer shots on goal than the Canaries in the league this season (34).
- Hughton's men are the only Premier League team yet to pick up a booking.
- West Ham picked up more points away from home than any other team in the Championship last season (45).
- However, they have won none of their last 14 league trips to Carrow Road (W0 D6 L8), and have lost their last five Premier League games away from home
- The Hammers committed more fouls than any other side in the opening three games (45).
- Allardyce's men netted the highest number of goals from set pieces in the Championship last season (33) and three of their four goals this season have also come from dead balls.
- Jussi Jaaskelainen (pictured, right) has made more saves than any other goalkeeper in the Premier League so far.
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Top 3 Predictions
Norwich City 1-2 West Ham
- 13.26 %
Norwich City 1-1 West Ham
- 11.36 %
Norwich City 2-1 West Ham
- 10.8 %
|Premier League (EPL)||1 Jan 2013||West Ham 2 - Norwich City 1|
|Premier League (EPL)||15 Sep 2012||Norwich City 0 - West Ham 0|
|19 May 2013||Manchester City 2 - Norwich City 3||EPL|
|12 May 2013||Norwich City 4 - West Bromwich Albion 0||EPL|
|4 May 2013||Norwich City 1 - Aston Villa 2||EPL|
|27 Apr 2013||Stoke City 1 - Norwich City 0||EPL|
|20 Apr 2013||Norwich City 2 - Reading 1||EPL|
|12||Ricardo Vaz Te||Striker|
The Irish winger was a revelation for The Canaries last season after Paul Lambert took a gamble in paying Huddersfield £2 million to bring him to the Premier League from League One. It paid off handsomely, as Pilkington hit eight goals in 30 league games to help his side overcome the odds and maintain their top-flight status. Although he is yet to hit the back of the net so far this campaign, his ability to provide goals from midfield could be crucial if Norwich are to avoid the dreaded 'second season syndrome' this year.
The former Bolton midfielder is a firm favourite of manager Sam Allardyce, and plays an integral role in the game plan set out by The Hammers boss. The Liverpudlian comes alive in the penalty area, as he demonstrated by scoring within a minute of kick-off in the win over Fulham. That strike was his second in just three games so far this season, and he looks well on his way to matching the return of 12 goals that helped his side to promotion last season. If he can replicate that form then the Londoners stand an excellent chance of staying up.
Chris Hughton seems to have steadied the ship somewhat after getting off to the worst possible start with a 5-0 defeat at Fulham on the opening day. After drawing the next two league games, he will be eager to get a first win under his belt against potential fellow relegation candidates here. However, West Ham are a tough nut to crack under Sam Allardyce's firm hand, so they will probably have to make do with a seventh draw in eight games against The Hammers.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed