Norwich City v West Ham United, Carrow Road (12.45pm KO)
NORWICH City’s first test after the international break is Saturday’s Carrow Road clash with newly-promoted West Ham United in a 12.45pm kick-off.
The Hammers have enjoyed a fine start to the season on their return to life as a Barclays Premier League club, winning two out of the first three league fixtures, including an impressive 3-0 victory at home to Fulham last time out.
Chris Hughton’s City meanwhile have enjoyed an upturn in fortunes since an opening day defeat to Fulham, picking up points against Queens Park Rangers and Tottenham Hotspur either side of a Capital One Cup victory over Scunthorpe United at Carrow Road.
Kick-off is at 12.45pm, and fans 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)
and Facebook pages
CITY: Russell Martin came through training unscathed on Thursday after withdrawing from the Scotland squad and is available, however fellow Scottish international Steven Whittaker is still continuing his comeback from an ankle injury. Midfielder Jacob Butterfield completed 90 minutes for the under-21s last time out, but Saturday's game will come too soon for him. Elliott Bennett is still missing with a knee injury, along with Simon Lappin (ankle).
WEST HAM: Star striker Andy Carroll (hamstring) looks set to miss out, however Matt Jarvis (thigh) and George McCarthy (ankle) are thought to be back in contention for the Hammers. Jack Collison (knee) is still missing, whilst Guy Demel (knock) is a doubt.
LAST LINE UPS
Spurs v CITY
Grant HOLT (c),
WEST HAM v Fulham
Kevin NOLAN (c),
Ricardo VAZ TE
Ins: Steven Whittaker, Jacob Butterfield (Barnsley) undisclosed, Michael Turner (Sunderland) undisclosed, Robert Snodgrass (Leeds United) undisclosed, Javier Garrido (Lazio) loan, Sebastien Bassong (Tottenham Hotspur) undisclosed, Mark Bunn (Blackburn Rovers) undisclosed, Alexander Tettey (Rennes) undisclosed.
Outs: Andrew Crofts (Brighton) undisclosed, Matt Ball (Stevenage) free, Josh Dawkin (Braintree) free, Adam Drury (Leeds United) free, Zak Whitbread (Leicester) free, Aaron Wilbraham (Crystal Palace) free, Daniel Ayala (Nottingham Forrest) season-long loan, Tom Adeyemi (Brentford) loan.
Ins: Mohamed Diame (Wigan) free, George McCartney (Sunderland) free, Modibo Maiga (Sochaux) £4.7M, James Collins (Aston Villa) £2.5M, Alou Diarra (Marseille) £2M, Matt Jarvis (Wolves) £7.5M, Yossi Benayoun (Chelsea) loan, Andy Carroll (Liverpool) loan.
Frank Nouble (Wolves) free, Robert Green (QPR) free, Jordan Brown (Barnet) free, Oliver Lee (Barnet) free, Ahmed Abdullah (Barnet), Freddie Sears (Colchester) free, Marek Stech (Yeovil) free, Abdoulaye Faye (Hull) free, Julien Faubert (Elazigspor) free, Pablo Barrera (Cruz Azul), Sam Baldock (Bristol City) £1.1M, Nicky Maynard (Cardiff) £2.5M, Ravel Morrison (Birmingham) loan, Cristian Montano (Oldham) loan.
An experienced Barclays Premier League manager, Sam Allardyce has succeeded in reviving the fortunes of West Ham United since taking over the job in June 2011.
After suffering relegation from the Premier League in the 2010-11 campaign, the former Bolton Wanderers, Newcastle Untied, and Blackburn Rovers manager helped the team bounce back from the Championship at the first attempt – courtesy of a play-off final victory over Ian Holloway’s Blackpool at Wembley.
With the backing of the board in the transfer market, Allardyce has been able to bring in the likes of Andy Carroll, Matt Jarvis, and Modibo Maiga this summer as the club look to establish themselves in the top-flight once again.
With two Premier League goals to his name already this season, West Ham Untied midfielder Kevin Nolan will certainly pose a threat at Carrow Road on Saturday.
The 30-year-old former Bolton Wanderers and Newcastle man joined his former Trotters boss Allardyce at West Ham in June 2011 – playing a key role in the Hammers’ promotion charge, scoring 13 goals, including one in the 5-0 aggregate hammering of Cardiff in the play-off semi-final.
A player who loves to get forward, Nolan can cause any Premier League defence problems on his day, and his accurate shooting from long-range will be a cause for concern for Hughton’s side.
Norwich City v West Ham United
|Norwich City||Draw||West Ham|
Despite the relatively close head-to-head record between City and West Ham, the Canaries are without a victory in the previous five meetings - the last being a 1-0 win at Carrow Road in August 1994 courtesy of a Mark Robins goal.
The last time the two sides met was in the FA Cup third round in January 2006, with Hayden Mullins and Bobby Zamora netting for the Hammers in a 2-1 win. Paul McVeigh scored a second half penalty for City.
Premier League- 12th
FA Cup- Fifth round
League Cup- Third round
Top league scorer- Grant Holt (15)
Most League starts- John Ruddy (37)
Championship – 3rd (play-off winners)
FA Cup – Third round
League Cup – First round
Top league scorer – Carlton Cole (14)
Most league starts – Mark Noble (43)
Merseyside-based referee Chris Foy will be the man-in-the-middle for Saturday’s clash against West Ham. The 49-year-old has taken charge of two Barclays Premier League games this season – Arsenal’s 0-0 draw with Sunderland at the Emirates, and Manchester City’s 3-1 home win over Queens Park Rangers.
Foy was in charge of the Canaries for three games last term – a 2-1 win over Sunderland, a 2-2 draw with Wolves, and a 6-1 home defeat to champions Manchester City.