Norwich City fans will be hoping they can win only their second league game in seven when they take on Crystal Palace at Carrow Road on Saturday afternoon.
After leaving Stoke City in the summer, Tony Pulis makes his return to management and will hope he can lead Crystal Palace to a second win in a row after their defeat of Hull last weekend. The London side are still one of the favourites for relegation however, although the same could arguably said for Norwich who have only won three games and scored 10 goals so far this season.
Both teams need victory but with only 17 goals scored by both sides in total, it may be too much to hope for a high scoring match.
Norwich still have a number of injuries to worry about. Chris Hughton has confirmed that Anthony Pilkington will be out until the New Year with a hamstring injury. Robert Snodgrass is slightly more optimistic but still faces another four weeks out before a possible return. It will also be around another two weeks before Ricky van Wolfswinkel returns from injury, so the Canaries will have to make do with what they have until then.
Palace will still be missing the services of Adlene Guedioura, Glenn Murray, Paddy McCarthy and Jack Hunt for this match.
- Norwich have played Crystal Palace on nine occasions at home, winning four of them and losing just once.
- Norwich have conceded 23 goals in the league so far, only one goal less than the worst club in this respect – Sunderland.
- At just seven goals, Crystal Palace have scored the fewest in the league.
- Crystal Palace have lost nine of their 12 league games, winning just two.
Norwich City – Leroy Fer
Leroy Fer has started 11 of Norwich’s league games, making him one of Chris Hughton’s most reliable players. Playing in central midfield, the Dutchman has been noted for his effective passing in the attacking zone and final third of the pitch, even if not many goals have resulted from it. Fer has an 85% passing accuracy in open play, completing 430 of 507 attempted passes. He has completed 230 of these successful passes in the attacking zone of the pitch, of which a more precise 107 have been in the final third. He has an accuracy of 80% in the attacking zone but a more average 70% in the final third. Fer has the potential to influence Norwich’s attacking play and so I wouldn’t be surprised if Tony Pulis instructs his players to shut the midfielder down.
Crystal Palace – Marouane Chamakh
Admittedly, it was a bit of a struggle to pick a key player for Palace and you’re probably wondering what made me settle on Chamakh. As said before, Palace have struggled with scoring goals this season. Chamakh at least has the potential to create for his team mates as well as providing a threat in front of goal. He has created 13 chances for his team, giving him an average of a chance created every 62 minutes. He has no assists as yet but this only serves to reflect Palace’s lack of joy in front of goal. He has only scored one goal from three shots, but his one redeeming statistic in this area is that he has a shooting accuracy of 67% as two of his shots were on target. Again, it may seem a long shot to consider Chamakh a key player but there’s always the chance he could turn it on and make an impact in the game against Norwich.
Both teams haven’t exactly been free scoring so far this season and despite both needing a win to boost their respective confidence levels, I still can’t see it being the most entertaining game to watch. I think it will end in a 1-1 draw.