A look ahead to Saturday's trip to the DW StadiumNORWICH CITY return to the venue of their first Barclays Premier League game of last season knowing that a win against Wigan Athletic will go a long way to securing top flight football for a third campaign.
Full of anticipation and excitement, the Canaries earned a 1-1 draw at the DW Stadium 18 months ago, yet in the bigger picture this fixture holds more importance as the 2012/13 season reaches its climax.
Chris Hughton’s side will have to be wary of a Latics team who, including victories that have seen them progress to the FA Cup semi-finals, have won four out of their last five matches, including a 2-1 win against Newcastle United last time out.
However, with an accomplished performance after going down to ten men against Sunderland a fortnight ago, City will be confident of getting closer to their survival target by earning something on their travels once more.
Chris Hughton confirmed at his press conference on Thursday that Alexander Tettey is in contention to feature after completing his recovery from a hamstring injury.
However, Anthony Pilkington won’t be available for selection as he continues recuperation from a similar problem of his own, while the game comes too soon for John Ruddy despite the England international returning to full training this week after four months out with a thigh injury.
Lee Camp will deputise for the suspended Mark Bunn, while the hamstring pull that forced Russell Martin out of Scotland’s World Cup qualifier against Serbia has cleared.
For the visitors, Antolin Alcaraz’s (fatigue) and Callum McManaman’s (ankle) chances of making the starting eleven are rated at 50-50
LAST TIME AROUND… NORWICH CITY 2-1 WIGAN ATHLETIC 15/12/2012 – Premier League
A starring performance from Wes Hoolahan saw Norwich City to three points when the two clubs met in the reverse fixture at Carrow Road back in December.
The Irish midfielder laid on for fellow countryman Anthony Pilkington to give City the lead before Shaun Maloney equalised for the Latics from long distance.
Hoolahan then got himself on the scoresheet, heading in what proved to be the winner midway through the second-half from Pilkington’s cross.
Chris Hughton said after that game: “Our form at the moment has deserved it. We are a team which has to work very hard for the points we get, so there will be no getting carried away."
MOST RECENT MEETINGS…
NORWICH CITY 2-1 Wigan Athletic 15/12/2012 – Premier League
NORWICH CITY 1-1 Wigan Athletic 11/03/2012 – Premier League
Wigan Athletic 1-1 NORWICH CITY 13/08/2011 – Premier League
NORWICH CITY 2-0 Wigan Athletic 09/04/2004 – Division One
Wigan Athletic 1-1 NORWICH CITY 04/10/2003 – Division One
D – 1-1 v Sunderland (A) 17/03/2013 – Premier League
D – 0-0 v Southampton (H) 09/03/2013 – Premier League
L – 0-4 v Manchester United (A) 02/03/2013 – Premier League
W – 2-1 v Everton (H) 23/02/2013 – Premier League
D – 0-0 v Fulham (H) 09/02/2013 – Premier League
W – 2-1 v Newcastle United (H) 17/03/2013 – Premier League
W – 3-0 v Everton (A) 09/03/2013 – FA Cup
L – 0-4 v Liverpool (H) 02/03/2013 – Premier League
W – 3-0 v Reading (A) 23/02/2013 – Premier League
W – 4-1 v Huddersfield Town (A) 17/02/2013 – FA Cup
LAST NORWICH CITY XI (4-5-1 v Sunderland)…
Mark Bunn; Russell Martin (c), Sebastien Bassong, Michael Turner, Javier Garrido; Robert Snodgrass, Bradley Johnson, Jonathan Howson, Elliott Bennett; Wes Hoolahan; Kei Kamara.
LAST WIGAN ATHLETIC XI (3-5-2 v Newcastle United)…
Joel Robles; Antolin Alcaraz, Emerson Boyce, Maynor Figueroa; Jean Beausejour, Paul Scharner, James McCarthy, Jordi Gomez, Callum McManaman; Shaun Maloney, Arouna Kone.
REFEREE – HOWARD WEBB…
Former World Cup Final referee Howard Webb will be taking charge of his 34th game of the season when he takes to pitch at the DW Stadium on Saturday afternoon.