Norwich – Fulham Preview: Canaries out to end winless run against Cottagers
Chris Hughton’s side have failed to collect a win in eight league games, and face a good opportunity against Martin Jol’s inconsistent squad with whom they are now level on points
By Arthur Virgo
Martin, Bassong, Turner, Garrido
Snodgrass, Tettey, Johnson, Pilkington
Riether, Senderos, Hangeland, Riise
Duff, Karagounis, Sidwell, Emanuelson
Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy (thigh) is out having undergone surgery so Mark Bunn continues in goal behind a potentially unchanged back four, but defender Ryan Bennett (hamstring) is doubtful.
Alex Tettey (knee) and Anthony Pilkington (hamstring) are doubtful, so Jonny Howson and Elliott Bennett could deputise in central midfield and on the wing respectively.
Grant Holt is likely to start up front but new strikers Luciano Becchio and Kei Kamara may also feature at some point.
Fulham’s injury problems are beginning to subside, with centre-back Brede Hangeland (Achilles) recovering to play for Norway over the international break and now set to partner Philippe Senderos, preferred to Aaron Hughes of late.
Mahamadou Diarra (knee) and Kerim Frei (groin) are still unavailable, while new arrivals Stanislav Manolev’s and Eyong Enoh’s availabilities are subject to their receipt of work permits, but Urby Emmanuelson could start on the left of midfield and Steve Sidwell may return following injury in place of Chris Baird.
Hugo Rodallega could start in attack alongside Bryan Ruiz, but Martin Jol is hopeful Dimitar Berbatov (hamstring) could return to the squad on Saturday.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Norwich have failed to win in a their last eight Premier League matches after previously going undefeated in 10 and have now dropped to 14th place with every team below them collecting points last week.
- Chris Hughton’s side has won five of their 12 league games at Carrow Road so far this season, losing just three, but only the current bottom two Aston Villa and QPR have scored fewer home goals than them (14).
- The Canaries have scored just one goal in their last five matches, in a winless run of five matches that saw their elimination from the FA Cup by non-league Luton Town.
- Fulham are above their opponents on goal difference, having followed a strong start to the season with a run of 12 games with just one victory.
- The Cottagers have lost three of their last four away from Craven Cottage, incurring six defeats and collecting just two wins on the road so far this season.
- The West London club have won six of their last seven matches in all competitions against their East Anglia-based opponents, consigning the Canaries to relegation from the Premier League in 2005 with a 6-0 demolition, and recording an opening day 5-0 win this season
- Canaries’ striker Grant Holt netted 15 league goals last year but this term has struck just four, equal to teammate Anthony Pilkington whose four all have come at Carrow Road, and Robert Snodgrass whose four have been netted away from home.
- Cottagers defenders Brede Hangeland (pictured right) and John Arne Riise could line up against their Norway teammate Alexander Tettey, who is hoping to return after missing their national team’s 2-0 defeat to Ukraine in midweek.
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Top 3 Predictions
Norwich City 1-2 Fulham
- 15.08 %
Norwich City 1-1 Fulham
- 12.06 %
Norwich City 0-1 Fulham
- 11.56 %
|FA Cup (FA)||14 Jan 2014||Fulham 3 - Norwich City 0|
|FA Cup (FA)||4 Jan 2014||Norwich City 1 - Fulham 1|
|Premier League (EPL)||26 Dec 2013||Norwich City 1 - Fulham 2|
|Premier League (EPL)||9 Feb 2013||Norwich City 0 - Fulham 0|
|Premier League (EPL)||18 Aug 2012||Fulham 5 - Norwich City 0|
|8 Mar 2014||Norwich City 1 - Stoke City 1||EPL|
|2 Mar 2014||Aston Villa 4 - Norwich City 1||EPL|
|23 Feb 2014||Norwich City 1 - Tottenham 0||EPL|
|11 Feb 2014||West Ham 2 - Norwich City 0||EPL|
|8 Feb 2014||Norwich City 0 - Manchester City 0||EPL|
|3||John Arne Riise||Defender|
The Scotland international helped create his team’s only goal of the last five games when his searching cross against Tottenham made its way to Wes Hoolahan, but all four of his Premier League goals so far have come away from home and he will look to change this on Saturday.
Hangeland’s height and ability in the air will be crucial to repelling the Norwich attack, much of which threat runs through the intelligent link-up play of powerful target-man Grant Holt, and his own threat from set pieces and composure on the ball will be vital if the Cottagers come under pressure.
Chris Hughton’s side are low on confidence having failed to collect a win in eight league matches, so the Canaries could look to keep disciplined and limit their attacking intent. The Cottagers in turn have struggled away from home, and may find it difficult to create chances with eight-goal top-scorer Dimitar Berbatov struggling with injury.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed