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Preview: Norwich vs Leicester

Norwich City
vs.
Leicester City

Carrow Road

29/09/10

7.45 p.m

Struggling Leicester travel to Norwich's Carrow Road on Tuesday evening aiming to bounce back from their calamitous display at Portsmouth.

Paulo Sousa's Foxes were handed a cruel lesson at Fratton Park with a six-goal salvo from Steve Cotterill's side on a dismal evening on the south-coast.

The result left City rooted to the bottom of the Championship after eight matches, a position which leaves manager Sousa under significant pressure with new investment fresh in the works.

Hosts Norwich have taken to life back in the second tier well after a solitary campaign in League One, their current sixth place standing showing clear progress under Paul Lambert.

The Canaries are bidding to achieve similar exploits as to what the Foxes achieved under Nigel Pearson, League One triumph followed by a promotion-capable finish in the Championship at the first attempt.

Lambert will be hoping his side can capitalise on a Leicester side low in confidence, while City manager Paulo Sousa is desperate for victory to relieve the pressure on his under-fire position.

Both sides suffered defeats in their previous Championship fixtures, Hull City proving too difficult to handle for Norwich as two late goals proved decisive for Pearson's new side.

Leicester's crushing defeat at the hands of cash-strapped Portsmouth has been well-documented over the past few days, but in a division where anything seems possible, Sousa will be confident that his capable side can take home a positive result from Carrow Road.

Leicester demolished Norwich in their last encounter, four goals without reply from the home side signalling a triumphant victory for the Foxes in their woeful relegation season of 2007/08.

Vital Quotes:

Leicester chairman Milan Mandaric: "I believe in Paulo and in the players. Friday was a disappointment for us all, but Paulo is a great character and he has the ability to move the club in the right direction.

"Now is the time for everyone, whether they are a player or a supporter, to unite and help us to get the results we want against Norwich and Scunthorpe this week.

"We must get behind the manager and his team. I am confident that they will turn this situation around as we have a good team, good supporters, and good owners who have been totally supportive in taking the team forward."

Norwich City Team News:

Norwich manager Paul Lambert has no new injury concerns, but is still without the services of four first team squad members ahead of the clash.

Midfielder Andrew Surman is still nursing a knee injury, while defenders Michael Nelson, Steven Smith and Zak Whitbread are all sidelined with ankle and calf problems respectively.

Player to watch: Grant Holt

The powerful front man has proven himself as an essential part of the Norwich first team ever since his move from Shrewsbury Town in 2007.

With 26 league goals in 46 appearances it is not difficult to guess who will prove the biggest threat to a struggling Foxes backline, Holt's strong presence in and around the penalty area regularly proving a handful to Championship defences.

Leicester City Team News:

Centre back Miguel Vitor is suspended following his red card at Fratton Park on Friday, meaning Jack Hobbs will almost certainly force his way back into first team proceedings.

A forgettable display means manager Paulo Sousa is likely to make changes, with Matty Fryatt, Paul Gallagher, Dany N'Guessan and Richie Wellens all battling for starting berths.

Player to watch: Jack Hobbs

Losing his place in the starting lineup against Portsmouth was a shock in itself, with Sousa instead choosing to place faith in a newly tested partnership of Michael Morrison and Miguel Vitor.

The rest is bitter history after shipping six goals, and Hobbs must ensure he regains his form of the previous campaign to help steady a worryingly shaky defence which looked so comfortable last year.

Match Facts & Stats

- The two sides have not met in the league for three seasons after brief cameos in League One for each team.

- Leicester's record at Carrow Road is poor, winning just one of their previous seven encounters in Norfolk.

- Paul Lambert has never suffered back-to-back defeats as Norwich manager.

- Neither side has managed to lead at half time this season.

Ref Watch:

P Walton

Match Prediction:

Who knows? Portsmouth really was a horrific outing, but this is the Championship after all and anything goes. The draw has been calling out, so we'll go for a scrappy 0-0.

Next Fixtures:

Saturday 2nd October:

Scunthorpe (H)


Writer:JBFox
Date:Tuesday September 28 2010
Time: 2:59AM

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