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Premier League

  • 2 December 2012
  • • 16:00
  • • Carrow Road, Norwich, Norfolk
  • Referee: P. Dowd
  • • Attendance: 26228

Norwich - Sunderland Preview: In-form hosts welcome struggling Black Cats to Carrow Road

The Canaries are climbing up the table after having gone eight games without defeat and will be hoping for a win against Martin O'Neill's toiling side



Whittaker, Bennett, Bassong, Garrido
Snodgrass, Johnson, Tettey, Pilkington


Bardsley, Kilgallon, Cuellar, Rose

Larsson, Colback, Gardner, Johnson

The hosts have some injury problems with goalkeeper Mark Bunn set to continue to stand in for the injured John Ruddy (thigh) while Harry Kane (ankle) and Russell Martin (back) are once again unlikely to feature and there is no set return date for either of the pair.

Aside from that, the home side have no new fitness worries and look set to name an unchanged side from the team that earned a 1-1 draw against Southampton on Wednesday.

Grant Holt is likely to be preferred to Steve Morison once again, despite storming off when substituted in their clash with the Saints.

Sunderland, meanwhile, have to make do without captain Lee Cattermole (knee) as he faces a potentially lengthy lay-off after coming off injured against QPR. Jack Colback looks set to replace him alongside Craig Gardner in the middle of the park.

John O'Shea (calf) is a major doubt while Wes Brown (calf) remains on the sidelines, still yet to make an appearance this season.

Other than that, Martin O'Neill could name the same line-up that ground out a 0-0 draw with QPR, though he might feel the need to go with James McClean over Adam Johnson after a lively substitute appearance in Tuesday's game - especially with the away side desperately looking for some creativity in the final third.

  • Norwich and Sunderland will not only be playing each other for Premier League points, but also the Friendship Trophy - a tradition dating back to the 1985 League Cup final, from which day, each time these sides meet, they play for the trophy.
  • Norwich have conceded just three times in their run of seven games unbeaten, compared to 17 goals leaked in the seven before them.
  • Grant Holt (pictured right) has committed more fouls (38) than any other player in the top flight this season.
  • A massive 45% of the Canaries' goals have come through headers - the highest proportion in the Premier League this season.
  • Sunderland won the last encounter between these two sides 3-0; they have yet to win by three goals or more since that day - 1 February 2012.
  • Craig Gardner has been booked in all of Sunderland's even games (2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th, 10th and 12th) - this is their 14th.
  • With Tuesday's substitute appearance against QPR, Louis Saha became only the fourth Premier League player to reach 100 substitute appearances.

Players to watch

S. Bassong

Position: Defender

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
The Cameroonian centre-back has impressed since moving to Norwich from Tottenham last summer, as signs of a solid partnership with Ryan Bennett are beginning to show after a rocky start. In this clash, it will be his job to nullify the threat of Steven Fletcher and, if he can win that key battle, Norwich will be confident that they can take something from this game.

A. Johnson

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
The English winger is 25 now and, having settled in at Sunderland after his move from Manchester City, will be expected to fulfil the potential he showed at Middlesbrough and in brief bursts at Manchester City. His form has been patchy thus far and, with James McClean pushing for that left-wing berth, he will surely feel as if he has a point to prove in this contest.

Editor's Prediction

Goals will be at a premium in what will surely be a tight contest, given that both sides struggle to create chances. Norwich should be able to maintain their unbeaten run though and overcome a Sunderland side low on form and confidence.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Norwich City



Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Norwich City FC NOR
Norwich City FC Norwich City
Sunderland AFC SUN
Sunderland AFC Sunderland

Top 3 Predictions

Norwich City FC NOR
2 - 1
Sunderland AFC SUN
Norwich City FC NOR
1 - 1
Sunderland AFC SUN
Norwich City FC NOR
1 - 0
Sunderland AFC SUN