Premier League Preview: Norwich - Sunderland
The Canaries are climbing up the table after having gone eight games without a loss 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 player.
Aside from that, the home side has 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 the clash with the Saints.
Sunderland, meanwhile, has 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 mustered 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.
- The away side in this fixture has failed to score in six of the last seven meetings.
- Norwich has conceded just three times in its unbeaten run of seven games, compared to 17 goals leaked in the seven before them.
- Holt (pictured right) has committed more fouls (38) than any other player in the top flight this season.
- A massive 45 percent 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; the Black Cats have yet to win by three goals or more since that day: Feb. 1, 2012.
- Craig Gardner has been booked in all of Sunderland's even games (2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th, 10th and 12th) - this is the club's 14th.
- With Tuesday's substitute appearance against QPR, Louis Saha became only the fourth Premier League player to reach 100 substitute appearances.
Top 3 Predictions
Norwich City 2-1 Sunderland
- 18.47 %
Norwich City 1-1 Sunderland
- 12.89 %
Norwich City 1-0 Sunderland
- 11.15 %
|English Premier League (EPL) (EPL)||Mar 17, 2013||Sunderland 1 - Norwich City 1|
|English Premier League (EPL) (EPL)||Dec 2, 2012||Norwich City 2 - Sunderland 1|
|English Premier League (EPL) (EPL)||Feb 1, 2012||Sunderland 3 - Norwich City 0|
|English Premier League (EPL) (EPL)||Sep 26, 2011||Norwich City 2 - Sunderland 1|
|Dec 15, 2013||Norwich City 1 - Swansea City 1||EPL|
|Dec 7, 2013||West Bromwich 0 - Norwich City 2||EPL|
|Dec 4, 2013||Liverpool 5 - Norwich City 1||EPL|
|Nov 30, 2013||Norwich City 1 - Crystal Palace 0||EPL|
|Nov 23, 2013||Newcastle 2 - Norwich City 1||EPL|
|24||Carlos Javier Cuéllar||Defender|
Times In EDT
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed