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Premier League

  • 10 December 2011
  • • 15:00
  • • Carrow Road, Norwich, Norfolk
  • Referee: M. Atkinson
  • • Attendance: 26816
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Norwich City - Newcastle United Preview: Overachieving sides looking to regain momentum after heavy defeats in previous outings

The hosts were thumped 5-1 away to Manchester City last week, whilst the visitors were thwarted 3-0 by Chelsea on their own turf, and both clubs aim to bounce back at Carrow Road


PROBABLE LINEUPS

NORWICH CITY
 


Ruddy
Naughton, R Martin, Barnett, Tierney
Bennett, Johnson, Crofts, Pilkington
Hoolahan
Morison
NEWCASTLE UNITED

Krul
Simpson, Perch, Kadar, R Taylor
Obertan, Cabaye, Gosling, Gutierrez
Ben Arfa
Ba
Paul Lambert is not the sort of manager to view a 5-1 defeat away to Manchester City as a reason to make drastic changes to his side, but one change is likely to be the addition of Wes Hoolahan as a creative option over the more industrious Andrew Surman, an attacking alteration prompted by Newcastle's personnel troubles at the back.

First-choice centre-backs Fabricio Coloccini (ankle) and Steven Taylor (Achilles) have both been hit by injuries for the away side. Alan Pardew may yet decide to risk Coloccini, who is doubtful, at Carrow Road after Taylor was ruled out for the rest of the season, but if, as seems most likely, the Argentine is not risked, then a makeshift partnership of James Perch and Tamas Kadar, the latter not even having a squad number, is expected to line up for the Magpies. Midfielder Danny Guthrie will miss a month's action with a groin injury picked up during last week's 3-0 loss at the hands of Chelsea, while Cheikh Tiote remains absent due to a knee ligament problem.


DID YOU KNOW?
  • Norwich City are one of only two sides, the other being Blackburn, who are yet to keep a clean sheet in any competition this season.
  • Thirty-two league games have gone by since the Canaries last took part in a goalless draw.
  • Norwich striker Grant Holt has come off the bench in five of the hosts' last six games, scoring a result-altering goal on three of those occasions.
  • Paul Lambert's side have conceded more goals in the last 15 minutes of league games (including added time) than in any other period of play, with seven let in late so far this season.
  • Newcastle United have conceded just seven goals away from home in the Premier League so far, less than half the Canaries' record, which is currently 16.
  • The Magpies' striker Demba Ba (pictured right) is currently joint-fourth in the Premier League's scoring charts, equal on nine strikes along with Wayne Rooney and Yakubu.
  • Newcastle's most common time to concede is in the final 15 minutes of the first half, having seen six goals put past them in that period - while Norwich have been most prolific in that very time, netting five before the break so far.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
1John RuddyGoalkeeper
16Kyle NaughtonDefender
6Zak WhitbreadDefender
2Russell MartinDefender
23Marc TierneyDefender
-Andrew CroftsMidfielder
25David FoxMidfielder
14Wesley HoolahanMidfielder
11Andrew SurmanMidfielder
20Steve MorisonStriker
29Grant HoltStriker
13Declan RuddGoalkeeper
20Leon BarnettDefender
4Bradley JohnsonMidfielder
12Anthony PilkingtonMidfielder
17Elliott BennettMidfielder
10K. JacksonMidfielder
18Aaron WilbrahamStriker
1Tim KrulGoalkeeper
3Davide SantonDefender
25Danny SimpsonDefender
14James PerchMidfielder
16Ryan TaylorDefender
6Yohan CabayeMidfielder
15Dan GoslingMidfielder
15Jonas GutierrezMidfielder
25Gabriel ObertanStriker
9Demba BaStriker
23Shola AmeobiStriker
21Rob ElliotGoalkeeper
31Shane FergusonDefender
10Hatem Ben ArfaMidfielder
-Peter LovenkrandsStriker
17Alan SmithStriker
28Sammy AmeobiStriker
20Leon BestStriker
Players to Watch
Grant Holt
Grant Holt
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 29
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The Canaries' captain is unlikely to start the game, but he will certainly play a part from the bench. Holt would be worth watching out for, since three of the 30-year-old's last five substitute appearances have seen him score a decisive goal. The former Nottingham Forest man will fancy himself to do a similar job if he is given 20 minutes against a tiring, inexperienced Newcastle defence.
Demba Ba
Demba Ba
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 9
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
Newcastle's only real attacking outlet this season, Ba's nine goals see him at least six ahead of any team-mate in the scoring charts. With the Magpies' back line decimated and the midfield similarly strewn with injuries, the visitors need their Senegalese frontman to be firing on all cylinders. The powerful striker will look to target the likes of Leon Barnett on Saturday.
Prediction
A week ago you would have expected the high-flying Magpies to come away from Carrow Road with a result, but with Steven Taylor out for the season and Fabricio Coloccini likely to miss out as well, Newcastle's defence has been well and truly gutted. All the evidence points to both sides conceding, but Norwich should have the firepower to exploit the visitors' weaknesses.
Editor's Prediction

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