WEST Brom are the opposition on Saturday as Chris Hughton’s Norwich City look to extend their record-breaking unbeaten run to 11 Barclays Premier League games at the Hawthorns.
The Canaries have won six and drawn four of their last ten league games – a run that has propelled them up to eighth place in the table since beating Wigan 2-1 at Carrow Road last time out.
The Wigan win marked a third consecutive victory in the league moved them to just one place and two points behind Steve Clarke’s Baggies in the table, who themselves have enjoyed a phenomenal start to the season.
Although last weekend’s 0-0 draw at home to West Ham did end a run of three straight league defeats, Albion have been playing some impressive football this season and will present a huge test for the in-form Canaries.
Kick-off is at 3pm, and you can listen live to the action through Canaries Player, as well as following live updates on Canaries.co.uk, and through our official Twitter (@NorwichCityFC)
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CITY: Captain Grant Holt is a doubt with a hamstring injury, but could yet feature, although John Ruddy (thigh) and Andrew Surman (knock) are out. Defender Ryan Bennett is also missing, but a decision will be made on Harry Kane, who is fit but has just one under-21 game under his belt since his return.
WEST BROM: The home side are waiting on the fitness of trio Claudio Yacob (hamstring), Liam Ridgewell (ankle), and goalkeeper Ben Foster (groin) ahead of the weekend, whilst Steven Reid is likely to miss out with a knock.
LAST LINE UPS:
CITY v Wigan
Grant HOLT (c)
WEST BROM v West Ham
Chris BRUNT (c),
MANAGER: STEVE CLARKE
Highly regarded former Scotland international defender Steve Clarke took over the reins at West Brom in the summer after the departure of Roy Hodgson to England. The 49-year-old joined Albion after a spell as a coach under Kenny Dalglish at Liverpool, and had previously worked as a coach at Newcastle United, Chelsea, and West Ham United.
Republic of Ireland international Long will certainly be one of the danger men for West Brom on Saturday having already netted seven times in all competitions this season. The pacey and powerful forward, who is also a threat in the air, joined the club from Reading in the summer of 2011 for a fee believed to be in the region of £6.5M, and has since scored 15 times the consolation in City’s 2-1 win at the Hawthorns last term.
West Brom v Norwich City
|West Brom wins||Draws||Norwich City wins|
Whilst West Brom have the edge in terms of all-time results between the two sides – 22 wins to City’s 17, it is Norwich who were victorious in the last two games, both of which took place at the Hawthorns in the space of 14 days earlier this year. On January 14, 2012, Andrew Surman and Steve Morison scored to earn City a crucial 2-1 league win, then two weeks later Grant Holt and Simeon Jackson ensured City triumphed by the same score line in the FA Cup.
TOP LEAGUE SCORERS
CITY: Grant Holt – Four league goals
WEST BROM: Shane Long, Romelu Lukaku – Five league goals
MOST LEAGUE STARTS
CITY: Bradley Johnson – 17 league starts
WEST BROM: Jonas Olsson – 17 league starts
Yorkshire-based referee Atkinson will take charge of Saturday’s match – the first time he has taken charge of either side this season. The 41-year-old 2011 FA cup Final referee has issued just one red card this season, to Newcastle’s Cheick Tiote in their 1-1 draw with Sunderland. The last time he took charge of a City game was the 2-0 win over Aston Villa on the final matchday of 2011-12. This season he has issued more yellow cards (81) than any other Premier League referee.