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Leicester vs. Norwich

Walkers Stadium

08/03/11

7.45 p.m

Preview: Leicester vs Norwich

Leicester aim to end their disappointing run of three matches without victory when they host Norwich in a crucial promotion clash at the Walkers Stadium.

The Foxes went down in unfortunate circumstances to a late Ishmael Miller goal at QPR on Saturday, and will be desperate to get the three points that would put them firmly back on the play-off trail.

Opponents Norwich have enjoyed a season much like the Foxes' last year, coming up from League One to storm into the play-off positions with relative ease.

Paul Lambert's side are just two points behind Swansea in the automatic promotion spots, and will be ruing the missed opportunity to draw level with the Welsh side after Wes Hoolahan's comical penalty against Preston at the weekend.

The Canaries are enjoying a five-match unbeaten run in the league, but have drawn three of those during that spell.

And they will have to be at their best if they are to walk away from the Walkers Stadium with three points this evening, against a Foxes side who are still yet to lose at home in the league under Sven-Goran Eriksson.

The Foxes' home run has now extended to 13 matches without loss, with Eriksson's side winning four of their last five on home soil.

But Norwich's away record is equally impressive, second best in the league in fact, after suffering defeat only three times on the road this campaign.

The last meeting between the two sides produced a seven-goal thriller at Carrow Road, the home side taking all three points in a 4-3 win despite a resilient Foxes effort.

Vital Quotes:

Leicester manager Sven-Goran Eriksson: 'It is an extremely important game now, probably the biggest since I came here.

'One point from three games is not good enough with the ambitions we have.

'We have to change that and the good thing is there are still 11 games to go. But we have to start to take points or it will be very difficult to try and get promoted this season.

'We want to do everything to win because we need three points desperately.'

Norwich manager Paul Lambert: 'They were in the play-offs last year so you're up against a team who just missed out and have strengthened considerably with who they've brought in and what they've done,' he said.

'So this is a mammoth, hard game for us, but we want to go and try to win. We don't play another way - Leicester will know we can hurt them.'

Leicester Team News:

Leicester have no fresh injury concerns ahead of the match, with only Patrick van Aanholt and Steve Howard continued absentees.

Paul Gallagher is pushing for a recall, and looks likely to reclaim his place over Matt Oakley in the Foxes midfield.

Player to watch: Yakubu

Leicester need goals to keep their play-off hopes alive, and if there is one man to do it, it's him.

With four goals in his nine Foxes appearances so far, the Nigerian international has already made a valuable contribution to Eriksson's ambitious outfit.

Norwich Team News:

Norwich have concerns over centre-back Zak Whitbread, who was substituted in the draw with Preston with a back injury.

Blackpool loanee Rob Edwards looks set to fill in if the former Liverpool man misses out.

Player to watch: Wes Hoolahan

Embarrassing penalty attempts aside, Hoolahan is without question one of the most creative players in the division.

With two strikes against the Foxes at Carrow Road and nine for the season, the midfielder has goals in his locker and is our one to watch for this evening.

Match Facts & Stats

- Norwich have hit ten goals in the last five minutes of league matches this season.

- Grant Holt has 16 league goals this season.

- The Canaries have failed to score in only 4 of their 35 Championship fixtures this season.

- The match sees referee Chris Foy in charge of only his second Football League fixture of the season.

- Leicester have the strongest home record in the division based on the last five matches.

- Paul Gallagher is looking for his 50th league goal.

Ref Watch:

Chris Foy (St Helens)

Matches: 1
Yellows: 0
Reds:0

Match Prediction:

Strong at home against strong away. Leicester 1-1 Norwich.

Next Fixtures:

Saturday 12th March:

Scunthorpe (A)




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The Journalist

Writer: JBFox Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday March 8 2011

Time: 5:02PM

 

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