NORWICH CITY v SUNDERLAND
Barclays Premier League
Saturday, March 22, 2014
THE Canaries will be looking to extend a superb home record against Sunderland when the two teams meet at Carrow Road this Saturday.
City are unbeaten in nine league matches against the Black Cats in Norfolk stretching back to 1985, with the latest of those coming last season when Norwich won 2-1.
In addition to that, Chris Hughton’s side are yet to be beaten at Carrow Road in the calendar year with hugely encouraging results against Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur.
Poor form on the road, however, has left City still keen to open up the gap between themselves and the relegation places – a spot which Sunderland currently occupy.
City lead the overall head-to-head record between the two clubs comfortably with 25 wins to the Wearsiders’ 17, while there have been 15 draws.
MOST RECENT COMPETITIVE MEETINGS…
Sunderland 0-0 NORWICH CITY 21/12/2013 – Premier League
Sunderland 1-1 NORWICH CITY 17/03/2013 – Premier League
NORWICH CITY 2-1 Sunderland 02/12/2012 – Premier League
Sunderland 3-0 NORWICH CITY 01/02/2012 – Premier League
NORWICH CITY 2-1 Sunderland 26/09/2011 – Premier League
LAST TIME AROUND… Sunderland 0-0 Norwich City, December 21 2013 – Premier League…
Both sides had to settle for a point after a scrappy draw at the Stadium of Light just before Christmas.
Wes Brown’s late sending off for a tackle on Ricky van Wolfswinkel provided the main headlines from a game that left Sunderland rooted to the bottom of the Premier League table.
Gary Hooper had the Canaries best two chances in a match of few, while before his dismissal Brown had found the post with a header.
The final result left Chris Hughton’s side on 19 points from 17 games and six clear of the relegation places, just two points off the top ten.
Hughton said afterwards: "We showed grit and determination but a draw was a fair result.
"I felt we were the team most likely to score. A clean sheet away from home is valuable and we need to maintain that going into the Christmas period.
"There's a fair bit of confidence in the team. We've been unlucky with injuries but we've got through that period with great spirit.”
L – 2-4 v Southampton (A) 15/03/2014 – Premier League
D – 1-1 v Stoke City (H) 08/03/2014 – Premier League
L – 1-4 v Aston Villa (A) 02/03/2014 – Premier League
W – 1-0 v Tottenham Hotspur (H) 23/02/2014 – Premier League
L – 0-2 v West Ham United (A) 11/02/2014 – Premier League
BLACK CATS’ FORM…
D – 0-0 v Crystal Palace (H) 15/03/2014 – Premier League
L – 0-3 v Hull City (A) 09/03/2014 – FA Cup Sixth Round
L – 1-3 v Manchester City (N) 02/03/2014 – Capital One Cup Final
L – 1-4 v Arsenal (A) 22/02/2014 – Premier League
W – 1-0 v Southampton (H) 15/02/2014 – FA Cup Fifth Round
LAST NORWICH CITY XI (4-3-3 v Southampton)…
(c); Steven Whittaker, Joseph Yobo, Ryan Bennett, Martin Olsson; Alex Tettey, Bradley Johnson, Jonny Howson; Anthony Pilkington, Robert Snodgrass, Gary Hooper.
LAST SUNDERLAND XI (4-2-3-1 v Crystal Palace)…
Vito Mannone; Phil Bardsley, Wes Brown, John O’Shea (c), Marcus Alonso; Ki Seung-Yueng, Liam Bridcutt; Fabio Borini, Seb Larsson, Adam Johnson; Steven Fletcher.
REFEREE – Phil Dowd…
Staffordshire official Phil Dowd will take charge of his third Norwich City game of the season at Carrow Road this Saturday.
His most recent visit came on December 28 when he oversaw the Canaries unfortunate 1-0 home defeat to Manchester United.
He was also the referee for the 7-0 reverse to Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium at the beginning of November.
Dowd’s most recent assignment was in the Championship last Saturday at the New Den as Millwall drew 0-0 with Charlton Athletic.
In his 27 games so far this season, he has given out 121 yellow cards and two red cards.
BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE FIXTURES (all games at 15.00 on Saturday unless stated otherwise)…
Chelsea v Arsenal (12.45)
Cardiff City v Liverpool
Everton v Swansea City
Hull City v West Bromwich Albion
Manchester City v Fulham
Newcastle United v Crystal Palace
NORWICH CITY v SUNDERLAND
West Ham United v Manchester United (17.30)
Tottenham Hotspur v Southampton (Sunday, 13.30)
Aston Villa v Stoke City (Sunday, 16.00)