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CARDIFF PREVIEW

31 January 2014

A comprehensive look at our trip to South Wales

CARDIFF CITY v NORWICH CITY
Barclays Premier League
15.00 kick-off
Cardiff City Stadium
Saturday February 1, 2014

WHEN Norwich City walk out at the Cardiff City Stadium at 3pm on Saturday afternoon, the line-up of players opposite them could be very different to when the clubs last met in October.

Bluebirds boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has wasted no time in making his mark on the squad, bringing in no fewer than six new faces this January at the time of writing.

The latest of those included a double raid of Solskjaer’s former club Manchester United for Wilfried Zaha on loan and Fabio da Silva, both of which were confirmed on Friday.

The transfer deadline has dominated the build-up to this weekend’s match, but no-one is in any doubt of the importance of Saturday as well as Friday in determining the outlook for both sides as the season enters its final third.

22 of the Canaries’ 24 points this season have come against teams in the bottom half of the Premier League, so there will be no shortage of belief that they can come back from South Wales with a reward.

Jonas Gutierrez is in contention after being ineligible for the Newcastle United draw in midweek, but fellow loan arrival Joseph Yobo was not registered in time.

Norwich have an impressive record overall against Cardiff, having won 26 times to their 13. There have been nine draws, most recently in the reverse fixture at Carrow Road.

MOST RECENT COMPETITIVE MEETINGS…
NORWICH CITY 0-0 Cardiff City 26/10/2013 – Premier League
NORWICH CITY 1-1 Cardiff City 15/01/2011 – Championship
Cardiff City 3-1 NORWICH CITY 30/10/2010 – Championship
NORWICH CITY 2-0 Cardiff City 10/03/2009 – Championship
Cardiff City 2-2 NORWICH CITY 23/08/2008 – Championship

LAST TIME AROUND… Norwich City 0-0 Cardiff City, October 26 2013 – Premier League…
Former Canaries goalkeeper David Marshall was Cardiff City’s hero as he made a number of saves to keep out his old team when the sides met in October.

The Scotland international denied Jonny Howson, Nathan Redmond, Gary Hooper and Leroy Fer as City registered 31 shots without finding the back of the net.

John Ruddy stood out too, making a superb save to deny Jordon Mutch in the first half as the spoils were eventually shared at Carrow Road.

The result left Norwich 18th in the Premier League, with eight points after nine matches.

Chris Hughton commented afterwards: “Credit to Cardiff. They came here and defended very well. On the balance of chances, we should have won.

“We haven't scored, although it's not down to the lack of endeavour or the way we played. It's frustrating because it's one that should have been three points. Their keeper has had a very good day.

“As the game went on, you thought the goal was going to come. Perhaps in the end you thought one of those goals would be an own goal or come via a deflection."
 


BLUEBIRDS’ FORM…

L – 0-2 v Manchester United (A) 28/01/2014 – Premier League
W – 1-0 v Bolton Wanderers (A) 25/01/2014 – FA Cup Fourth Round
L – 2-4 v Manchester City (A) 18/01/2014 – Premier League
L – 0-2 v West Ham United (H) 11/01/2014 – Premier League
W – 2-1 v Newcastle United (A) 04/01/2014 – FA Cup Third Round

CANARIES’ FORM…
D – 0-0 v Newcastle United (H) 28/01/2014 – Premier League
W – 1-0 v Hull City (H) 18/01/2014 – Premier League
L – 0-3 v Fulham (A) 14/01/2014 – FA Cup Third Round Replay
L – 0-2 v Everton (A) 11/01/2014 – Premier League
D – 1-1 v Fulham (H) 04/01/2014 – FA Cup Third Round

LAST CARDIFF CITY XI (4-4-2 v Manchester United)…
David Marshall; Kevin McNaughton, Matt Hudson, Steven Caulker (c), Declan John; Craig Noone, Gary Medel, Jordon Mutch, Peter Whittingham; Craig Bellamy, Fraizer Campbell.

LAST NORWICH CITY XI (4-4-2 v Newcastle United)…
John Ruddy; Russell Martin, Ryan Bennett, Sebastien Bassong (c), Martin Olsson; Robert Snodgrass, Leroy Fer, Bradley Johnson, Anthony Pilkington; Ricky van Wolfswinkel, Gary Hooper.

REFEREE – Mark Clattenburg…
Norwich City earned three points on the road the last time County Durham official Mark Clattenburg took charge of one of their games.

That was at the Hawthorns in December, when goals from Gary Hooper and Leroy Fer saw Chris Hughton’s men to a 2-0 triumph over West Bromwich Albion.

Clattenburg’s most recent assignment was Aston Villa’s extraordinary 4-3 win over the Baggies on Wednesday night at Villa Park, a game in which he gave out four yellow cards.

He has overseen 23 games in total this season, dishing out 77 yellow cards but just one red – to West Ham’s Kevin Nolan against Fulham on New Year’s Day.

BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE FIXTURES…
Newcastle United v Sunderland (12.45)
West Ham United v Swansea City (12.45)
CARDIFF CITY v NORWICH CITY
Everton v Aston Villa
Fulham v Southampton
Hull City v Tottenham Hotspur
Stoke City v Manchester United
West Bromwich Albion v Liverpool (Sunday, 13.30)
Arsenal v Crystal Palace (Sunday, 16.00)
Manchester City v Chelsea (Monday, 20.00)

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