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
By Sam Wells
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.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- 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.
- The away side in this fixture has failed to score in six of the last seven meetings.
Sunderland are 17/2 to win 1-0 with bet365.
- 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.
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Top 3 Predictions
Norwich City 2-1 Sunderland
- 18.47 %
Norwich City 1-1 Sunderland
- 12.89 %
Norwich City 1-0 Sunderland
- 11.15 %
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Mar 17, 2013||Sunderland 1 - Norwich City 1|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Dec 3, 2012||Norwich City 2 - Sunderland 1|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Feb 2, 2012||Sunderland 3 - Norwich City 0|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Sep 27, 2011||Norwich City 2 - Sunderland 1|
|Dec 7, 2013||West Bromwich Albion 0 - Norwich City 2||EPL|
|Dec 5, 2013||Liverpool 5 - Norwich City 1||EPL|
|Nov 30, 2013||Norwich City 1 - Crystal Palace 0||EPL|
|Nov 23, 2013||Newcastle United 2 - Norwich City 1||EPL|
|Nov 10, 2013||Norwich City 3 - West Ham United 1||EPL|
|24||Carlos Javier Cuéllar||Defender|
Times In MYT
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed