Norwich – West Brom: Hughton seeks to end slump and ensure safety against Baggies

The Canaries are just three points above the drop zone after just one win in nine games, but could now secure their Premier League status against an experimental Baggies side


Martin, Bassong, R Bennett, Garrido 
Snodgrass, Howson, Johnson, Pilkington 

Dawson, McAuley, Olsson
Jones, Mulumbu, Yacob, Ridgewell
Long, Lukaku

Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy is yet to return to the starting XI so Mark Bunn could continue in goal, while centre-back Michael Turner (groin) is injured so Ryan Bennett could retain his place in the back four.

Chris Hughton named Jonny Howson alongside Bradley Johnson in central midfield in the Canaries’ last home game, with Alex Tettey on the bench and Andrew Surman a long-term casualty.

Anthony Pilkington and Robert Snodgrass began that match either side of playmaker Wes Hoolahan, but face competition from winger Elliott Bennett. Grant Holt is set to start the match as a lone striker, with Kei Kamara having returned to Sporting Kansas City following the end of his loan spell.

West Brom are without left-back Goran Popov (calf) and midfielder Chris Brunt (knee), leaving them short in midfield given the continued absence of long term casualties Zoltan Gera (knee) and George Thorne (knee).

Steve Clarke named Boaz Myhill in goal and Craig Dawson and Gabriel Tamas in a back three away at Manchester City with Ben Foster and Gareth McAuley on the bench, and he could again look to experiment with his side having secured their Premier League status.

Forward Markus Rosenberg was named on Tuesday alongside Romelu Lukaku in attack, but the Sweden international will face strong competition for a place in the starting line up from Shane Long among others, although Marc-Antoine Fortune is suspended.

  • Norwich are just three points above the relegation zone after last week’s 2-1 defeat to Aston Villa ended a run of seven matches unbeaten at home, and their final game of the season against likely runners-up Manchester City.
  • The Canaries have collected the fewest wins of any Premier League side this calendar year, having collected just two victories in their last 19 league games and just 13 points in 2013. Only Stoke (12) have collected fewer points this calendar year.
  • The Norfolk side have scored just 33 league goals this season, fewer than all but QPR (29) and Stoke (31), but have kept nine clean sheets this season with three of them coming in their last six games.
  • Chris Hughton’s side have won fewer corners than any other Premier League team this season (an average of 4.4 per game), but 38% of their goals this season have been headed, a higher proportion than any other Premier League club.
  • West Brom have secured successive top-flight top half finishes for the first time since 1980 and 1981, but have won just one of their last seven games and are unable to climb above Liverpool from their position in 8th place.
  • Some 29% of the goals Steve Clarke’s side have conceded have come in the closing 15 minutes this season, a higher proportion than any other Premier League club, while the Midlands side have also been shown more yellow cards for time-wasting than any other side.
  • Baggies’ top goalscorer Romelu Lukaku (pictured, right) has scored 14 league goals this season and is the youngest player to score ten or more goals in Europe’s big five leagues this season.
  • West Brom have won their last three matches away at Carrow Road, while last season both league matches as well as the fourth round FA Cup tie between the two resulted in away victories.
  • Earlier this season the Baggies came back to beat Norwich at the Hawthorns after goals from Zoltan Gera and Romelu Lukaku overturned Robert Snodgrass’ opener.