Manchester City - Norwich Preview: Managerless Blues unbeaten at home since December
Last season's champions are still reeling from their shock FA Cup final defeat to Wigan, followed by Roberto Mancini's sacking on Monday, but should secure an easy win
By Adam Mazrani
Zabaleta, Kompany, Nastasic, Clichy
Silva, Barry, Yaya Toure, Nasri
Martin, Bennett, Bassong, Garrido
Snodgrass, Howson, Johnson, Pilkington
Manchester City have few injuries, with only Kolo Toure (knee) and Scott Sinclair (shoulder) looking likely absentees.
Indeed, the main pre-match questions are regarding caretaker manager Brian Kidd's selection plans, with the likes of Maicon, James Milner, Javi Garcia, Jack Rodwell and Edin Dzeko all vying for a starting berth.
Norwich have a similarly near-fully fit squad and thus could elect to select the same starting XI that dismantled West Brom last week. Michael Turner (groin) and Andrew Surman (knee) are expected to miss out again.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Manchester City have won eight and draw one of their nine league matches played at the Etihad Stadium since their 3-2 defeat to Manchester United on December 9.
- David Silva (pictured right) only has four goals and nine assists in the league so far this season, compared to six and 17 last year. He is 7/1 with bet365 to score first as City win.
- The Blues have scored 15 goals against Norwich in their three matches since the Canaries returned to the top flight last term.
- Norwich have only won one of their 18 matches on the road so far this season, coming against Swansea in December.
- But recorded their biggest winning margin in the division since 1993 with a 4-0 win over West Brom.
- The previous fixture between these two sides, which saw City triumph 4-3 on Carrow Road on December 29, saw Canaries' defender Russell Martin score two of his three goals of the season to date.
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Top 3 Predictions
Manchester City 8-0 Norwich City
- 14.63 %
Manchester City 3-0 Norwich City
- 12.39 %
Manchester City 3-1 Norwich City
- 10.67 %
|Premier League (EPL)||8 Feb 2014||Norwich City 0 - Manchester City 0|
|Premier League (EPL)||2 Nov 2013||Manchester City 7 - Norwich City 0|
|Premier League (EPL)||19 May 2013||Manchester City 2 - Norwich City 3|
|Premier League (EPL)||29 Dec 2012||Norwich City 3 - Manchester City 4|
|Premier League (EPL)||14 Apr 2012||Norwich City 1 - Manchester City 6|
|13 Apr 2014||Liverpool 3 - Manchester City 2||EPL|
|5 Apr 2014||Manchester City 4 - Southampton 1||EPL|
|29 Mar 2014||Arsenal FC 1 - Manchester City 1||EPL|
|25 Mar 2014||Manchester United 0 - Manchester City 3||EPL|
|22 Mar 2014||Manchester City 5 - Fulham 0||EPL|
Sergio Aguero has 17 goals to his name this season, a fine tally but when compared with the 30 he scored last campaign, he is perhaps symptomatic of the malaise that has engulfed City this season. However, even in lacklustre form, he remains one of the best strikers in the league and judging by his excellent goal at Reading the other night, Norwich should certainly be wary.
The 32-year-old has only scored seven league goals this season compared to 15 last term, and has been criticised by some for his performances. However, with two goals in his last two matches, Holt has looked somewhere near the form that terorrised defences last season and, with the imminent arrival of Ricky van Wolfswinkel at Carrow Road, he will be keen to end the season well and retain his place in Chris Hughton's starting line-up.
Manchester City have been imperious at home since their crucial Manchester derby defeat back in December and, with the shackles off, will surely have far too much for Norwich. The hosts certainly showed no signs of a regression following the sacking of Roberto Mancini against Reading and up against a Norwich side that has not won away from home in 2013, it is difficult to see anything other than a comfortable home success to see out the season.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed