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PALACE PREVIEW

31 December 2013

City visit the Eagles on New Year's Day

CRYSTAL PALACE v NORWICH CITY
Barclays Premier League
15.00 kick-off
Selhurst Park
Wednesday January 1, 2014

NORWICH City kick-off the second half of their Premier League campaign with a trip to Crystal Palace – just over a month after defeating the Eagles in the reverse fixture.

Gary Hooper’s goal was enough to see off Palace at Carrow Road in Tony Pulis’ first game in charge at the end of November, but the former Stoke City boss has overseen a run of decent form since that has seen them accumulate nine points from a possible 18.

That has left them just three points behind the Canaries in the league table, but Chris Hughton’s side will hope to re-establish a bigger gap by beginning 2014 with a victory.

They can draw encouragement from an impressive performance – if not result - against Manchester United last Saturday, and from the fact that Palace were soundly beaten 3-0 by Newcastle United in their match on home turf.

Hughton said at his pre-match press conference that he believed in-form striker Gary Hooper is likely to be fine for the 108th meeting between the two clubs, despite being taken off against United as a precaution.

Palace edge the overall head-to-head having won 45 times to City’s 44, with the other 18 matches ending in draws.

MOST RECENT COMPETITIVE MEETINGS…
NORWICH CITY 1-0 Crystal Palace 30/11/2013 – Premier League
Crystal Palace 0-0 NORWICH CITY 29/01/2011 – Championship
NORWICH CITY 1-2 Crystal Palace 19/10/2010 – Championship
Crystal Palace 3-1 NORWICH CITY 26/12/2008 – Championship
NORWICH CITY 1-2 Crystal Palace 25/11/2008 – Championship



LAST TIME AROUND… Norwich City 1-0 Crystal Palace, November 30 2013 – Premier League…

Gary Hooper benefited from the generosity of Wes Hoolahan as he netted a crucial winner for the Canaries at Carrow Road back in November.

Hoolahan played City’s leading scorer in rather than go for goal himself, and it proved a wise choice as a composed Hooper slammed the ball home to record three points.

City could have made the result more comfortable if Johan Elmander’s header had nestled in the net rather than hit the crossbar, but they also had Martin Olsson to thank for an incredible goal-line clearance to deny Barry Bannan.

The result promoted City to 14th in the division, while Palace remained rooted to the bottom, some six points from safety.

Chris Hughton said after the final whistle: “"It feels like a big win for us. We played very well in the first half and scored a good goal, but we knew they would come back.

"It is never comfortable viewing when you look at the league table and you are in a position you do not want to be in.

"However many places we have jumped [in the table] it is a nice feeling."

EAGLES’ FORM…
L – 0-1 v Manchester City (A) 28/12/2013 – Premier League
W – 1-0 v Aston Villa (A) 26/12/2013 – Premier League
L – 0-3 v Newcastle United (H) 21/12/2013 – Premier League
L – 1-2 v Chelsea (A) 14/12/2013 – Premier League
W – 2-0 v Cardiff City (H) 07/12/2013 – Premier League

CANARIES’ FORM…
L – 0-1 v Manchester United (H) 28/12/2013 – Premier League
L – 1-2 v Fulham (H) 26/12/2013 – Premier League
D – 0-0 v Sunderland (A) 21/12/2013 – Premier League
D – 1-1 v Swansea City (H) 15/12/2013 – Premier League
W – 2-0 v West Bromwich Albion (A) 07/12/2013 – Premier League



LAST CRYSTAL PALACE XI (4-5-1 v Manchester City)…

Julian Speroni; Adrian Mariappa, Danny Gabbidon, Damien Delaney, Jonathan Parr; Joel Ward, Mile Jedinak (c), Barry Bannan, Jason Puncheon, Yannick Bolasie; Cameron Jerome.

LAST NORWICH CITY XI (4-2-3-1 v Manchester United)…
John Ruddy; Russell Martin, Ryan Bennett, Sebastien Bassong (c), Martin Olsson; Leroy Fer, Bradley Johnson; Robert Snodgrass, Wes Hoolahan, Nathan Redmond; Gary Hooper.

REFEREE – Mike Dean…
Experienced official Mike Dean will take charge of his 18th match of the 2013/14 campaign when he takes to the field at Selhurst Park on New Year’s Day.
The Wirral official was most recently in action at the Boleyn Ground last Saturday, where West Ham United drew 3-3 with West Bromwich Albion in the day’s early kick-off.
Dean has overseen one Norwich City game so far this season – the Canaries’ 2-1 defeat to Newcastle United at St James’ Park in November.
In his 17 assignments so far, Dean has given out 56 yellow cards and three red cards, including the dismissal of Michel Vorm in the south Wales derby between Cardiff City and Swansea City in November.

BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE FIXTURES…
Swansea City v Manchester City (12.45)
Arsenal v Cardiff City
CRYSTAL PALACE v NORWICH CITY
Fulham v West Ham United
Liverpool v Hull City
Southampton v Chelsea
Stoke City v Everton
Sunderland v Aston Villa
West Bromwich Albion v Newcastle United
Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur (17.30)

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