Everton visit Carrow Road in search of their 100th Premier League away win. Norwich will look to continue improving their home form with the Canaries losing just one of the last six at home. Despite their home form, Norwich’s overall form reads as one win from their last six.
Back in December, the two sides met at Goodison Park with the match ending 1 – 1. Everton hold the edge, winning five of the last seven meetings with two ending level. The last time Norwich beat Everton, Mike Walker was Everton boss, Doop were number one and Wallace and Gromit had just won an Oscar.
David Moyes’ team come into the game in top form. Everton are looking for three consecutive Premier League wins for the first time since January 2010. The Toffees have won and keep clean sheets in four of their last five games; including all of their last three. Everton’s miserly defence is the third best in the country with only the two Manchester clubs conceding less.
Everton boast the stronger defence with their focus on a high defensive line and players pressing high up the pitch. This is clear with Everton winning possession in the final third 74 times compared to Norwich’s 57. Everton’s pressing style means they favour 50-50s over full-blooded tackling; Norwich attempt more tackles with Everton contesting more 50-50s. Everton hold a clear advantage in the remaining categories; making more interceptions and conceded fewer goals.
Whilst Everton have the edge in defence, Norwich boast the upper hand in attack; the Canaries come out on top in the six categories. Only the Top 6 and Blackburn have scored more than Norwich this season. The difference between the two sides is only slight in most categories but the top scorer category is telling. Everton’s top scorers are their left back and a forward who is best used as a substitute.
Everton can welcome back Royston Drenthe with the midfielder returning to training after compassionate leave. Seamus Coleman (thigh) and Jack Rodwell (hamstring) remain doubtful. Darron Gibson will hope his lucky streak continues; the midfielder is unbeaten in his 10 Everton appearances. Overall, Gibson is unbeaten in his last 23 league games.
Leighton Baines will make his 200th Everton appearance on Saturday. Featuring in Everton’s last 109 matches, the full back’s impressive run comprises of 98 league games and 11 cup-ties. He easily leads the way for Everton in terms of creativity and is in contention for Everton’s player of the year award.
Norwich can recall leading scorer Grant Holt as the centre forward’s one-match ban. Holt is the only Norwich forward to score in their last 10 matches. Marc Tierney (groin), James Vaughan (knee) and Daniel Ayala (knee) all look set to miss out. Midfielder Anthony Pilkington is doubtful with a hamstring injury.
Norwich are safe with games to spare and Everton have one eye on next week’s FA Cup semi-final. Let us hope this game is entertaining and not a clash between two sides with their minds on other things.
- Norwich’s goal, at Goodison Park, in December came from their only shot on target
- Everton have won their last 3 matches 2 -0 – a club first
- Everton have scored just 7 goals in their last 9 away games
- 41% of Everton’s goals, this season, haves been scored / assisted by a substitute – a league high
- Victor Anichebe has made 83 substitute appearances – the most by any Everton player ever