It would be nice to pretend that every match was a dream tie, a spectacle to behold, goals galore, world-class striking talent on display and a non-stop televisual feast – okay so that was the case when Manchester Utd played Real Madrid earlier this week. But on Saturday March 9th, 2013 Norwich takes on Southampton.
This match, while being none of the above, is important in it’s own right and nothing should be taken away from it.
At the start of the season Norwich was the team of the moment. They were punching well above their weight and at one point sat a lofty fifth in the Premier League table. Over the past few weeks Norwich have played some pretty dour matches and the results have seen them drop uncomfortably to the bottom half of the table. With ten games remaining they have a choice – either start picking up points and climb into the top half of the table, or, continue with a bad run of form and get sucked into the battle against relegation.
Southampton on the other hand is just three points above the drop zone. With new manager – Mauricio Pochettino – at the helm, over the past few weeks the team has picked up some valuable points and has been playing some wonderful attacking football. However, two loses in a row, including last weekends surprise defeat against bottom club QPR has put them right back in trouble and only a win will be good enough.
Venue: Carrow Road, Norwich
Last season’s result: N/A – Southampton were not in the Premier League last season.
Norwich form guide: LWDDDL
Southampton form guide: LLWDLL
Norwich leading scorer: Holt – 5
Southampton leading scorer: Lambert – 12
Possible team line-ups:
Norwich 4-4-2: Bunn, Bassong, Turner, Martin, Garrido, Johnson, Howson, Snodgrass, Pilkington, Holt, Hoolahan
Manager: Chris Hughton
Southampton 4-4-2: Boruc, Yoshida, Fonte, Shaw, Clyne, Cork, Schneiderlin, Lallana, Puncheon, Lambert, Ramirez
Manager: Mauricio Pochettino
Norwich subs from: Camp, Rudd, Whittaker, Fox, Jackson, Kamara, E Bennett, Becchio, Barnett, Tierney, R Bennett, Murphy
Norwich injuries: Tettey (16 Mar), Ruddy (20 Mar), Surman (knee, Aug)
Southampton subs from: K Davis, Gazzaniga, Hooiveld, S Davis, Rodriguez, Fox, Forren, Mayuka, Do Prado, Ward-Prowse, Chaplow
Southampton injuries: None
- Norwich have failed to score in five of their past seven league games
- Premier League meetings between these two sides average 4.5 goals per game
- Southampton have won just one of their last seven league games
- 37% of Norwich’s goals this season have been headed, the most in the league
- Southampton have thrown away 27 points from leading positions, the most in the Premier League
- Norwich have not had a penalty in the league (Source guardiannews.com)
Prediction: Norwich 0 Southampton 1
(photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)