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Premier League

  • 11 February 2012
  • • 15:00
  • • Liberty Stadium, Swansea
  • Referee: M. Atkinson
  • • Attendance: 19927
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Swansea City - Norwich City Preview: Canaries looking for first away win against the Swans since 1962

Paul Lambert's men travel to Wales hoping to get only their fourth away win of the season, while Brendan Rodgers' side look to maintain the league's second-best home defence


PROBABLE LINEUPS
Swansea City

Vorm
Rangel, Williams, Caulker, Taylor
Dyer, Allen, Britton, Sinclair
Sigurdsson
Graham
Norwich City

Ruddy
Martin, Barnett, Drury, Naughton
Pilkington, Johnson, Howson, Hoolahan Surman
Morison

Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers goes into Saturday’s match with Norwich boasting an almost-completely fit squad, with just two players likely to be ruled out with knocks.

Spaniard Andrea Orlandi (hamstring) remains extremely doubtful, while Ferrie Bodde (knee) continues to miss out with a long-term injury. The likelihood of Leroy Lita’s inclusion is less than certain after the former Reading man was arrested during the week for alleged drunken behaviour.

Paul Lambert has significantly more to worry about with Norwich, however. Daniel Ayala (hamstring), Declan Rudd (ankle) and James Vaughan (knee) are all out, while the Canaries are still sweating on the fitness of several other first-team members.

Zak Whitbread (hamstring), Marc Tierney (groin) and Elliott Ward (knee) are all doubtful and will be touch-and-go until late fitness tests on Friday.



DID YOU KNOW?
  • Swansea defender Ashley Williams (pictured, right) is one of only five outfield players to complete every minute of every match in the Premier League so far this season.
  • If he plays, Leroy Lita will face one of his former clubs after making 16 appearances for Norwich in a loan spell in 2008.
  • The Swans have lost just one match at home this season, when Manchester United visited in November.
  • Brendan Rodgers' side have conceded only seven goals at the Liberty Stadium this term, a record bettered only by league leaders Manchester City, with six.
  • Only Liverpool have drawn more home matches than Swansea, with the Reds on eight and the Swans on six.
  • Norwich haven't won away to Swansea in eight attempts.
  • The Canaries have still scored more headed goals than any other team in the league, with their tally currently on 13.
  • Only five teams have picked up fewer away wins in the league this season than Norwich, with Lambert's men on three.
  • Should he get on to the pitch, Jonny Howson will make his debut for the Yellows following his January move from Leeds United.
  • The home team has won this fixture in each othe the last four occasions.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
1Michel VormGoalkeeper
22Ángel RangelDefender
6Ashley WilliamsDefender
45Steven CaulkerDefender
3Neil TaylorDefender
12Nathan DyerMidfielder
11Scott Sinclair Midfielder
7Leon BrittonMidfielder
51Josh McEachranMidfielder
-Gylfi SigurdssonMidfielder
9Danny GrahamStriker
25Gerhard TremmelGoalkeeper
15Wayne RoutledgeMidfielder
-Mark GowerMidfielder
29Ashley RichardsMidfielder
18Leroy LitaStriker
8Luke MooreStriker
1John RuddyGoalkeeper
2Russell MartinDefender
22Elliot WardDefender
3Adam DruryDefender
16Kyle NaughtonDefender
11Andrew SurmanMidfielder
25David FoxMidfielder
17Elliott BennettMidfielder
12Anthony PilkingtonMidfielder
29Grant HoltStriker
10K. JacksonMidfielder
13Jed SteerGoalkeeper
20Leon BarnettDefender
4Bradley JohnsonMidfielder
-Andrew CroftsMidfielder
14Wesley HoolahanMidfielder
20Steve MorisonStriker
18Aaron WilbrahamStriker
Players to Watch
Ashley Williams
Ashley Williams
Position: Defender
Squad Number: 6
Games Goals YC RC
1 0 0 0
As highlighted, Norwich's most potent threat comes from their ability in the air, particularly in the shape of Steve Morison and Grant Holt. It is likely only one of these two will start, with Lambert likely to name three central midfielders in an attempt to stifle Swansea's creativity, but both are dangerous even when isolated.

When the two sides met earlier in the season, Williams struggled with the power and physicality of Morison, with the former Millwall man driving the Canaries to the three points, but if the Welsh defender is able to win the physical battle, Norwich are likely to be blunt in attack.
Bradley Johnson
Bradley Johnson
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 4
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
Lambert often switches around his midfield combinations, but with Swansea's ball-playing game so well publicised, it would be a remarkable display of boldness if he doesn't name three central midfielders on Saturday, with Johnson being very much at the fore.

Johnson's energy, tenacity and closing-down in the middle will be essential if Norwich hope to nullify the Swans' threat in possession, while he will need to make sure he brings the bite that riled QPR's Joey Barton back in December to intimidate Leon Britton and co.
Prediction
The stats point to a low-scoring affair at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday with the teams likely to cancel each other out. Swansea's defensive record at home is bettered only by Manchester City, but Norwich have scored only one goal less on the road than Rodgers' team have at home, while history suggests Lambert's team won't be able to pick up a win, having failed to do so in this fixture since the '60s.

A draw seems the most likely option on Saturday with the two teams so evenly matched, but considering some of the scorelines seen this season, nothing should be unexpected.
Editor's Prediction

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