Norwich V Fulham at Carrow Road : Match Preview

08 February 2013 02:01
Norwich V Fulham - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Hughton to assess Pilkington and Tettey

Norwich manager Chris Hughton describes midfielders Anthony Pilkington and Alex Tettey as "touch and go" for Saturday's match against Fulham.

Pilkington and Tettey are suffering from hamstring and knee problems respectively although defender Ryan Bennett is fit again and Hughton reported a clean bill of health after his players returned from the midweek internationals.

Meanwhile, loan signing striker Kei Kamara has commenced training following his move from Sporting Kansas City in the MLS but lacks match practice and Hughton will delay assessing whether he might feature against the Cottagers.

Goalkeeper Mark Bunn admits revenge will be in the air.

The last time the two sides met was on the opening day of the season at Craven Cottage when Fulham inflicted a humiliating 5-0 defeat on Norwich in what was manager Chris Hughton's first Barclays Premier League game in charge of the club.

Since then Fulham and Norwich have enjoyed a mixed season and the latest encounter has acquired an extra edge as they are locked together on 28 points in 13th and 14th places in the league respectively.

Bunn was not at the club to witness the Craven Cottage demolition, joining Norwich later as understudy to John Ruddy, but he watched the game and knows the hurt it caused among his team-mates.

"It's not nice to get beaten by five so I think the boys will want to put it right with a good result," said Bunn. "Hopefully we can get a win. I think the lads will be trying to erase that memory.

"It's always massive when you play teams around you. It's vital you get the three points. It is a must-win game for Norwich.

"The last thing we want to do is get sucked into the relegation battle. It is a big game and with two home games coming up hopefully we can get two wins. When you get two wins you can go halfway up the league."

Fulham striker Dimitar Berbatov faces a fitness test on his hamstring.

Urby Emanuelson could make his first start if the Bulgarian misses out, while Martin Jol is still to assess the fitness of his 12 players who spent midweek on international duty, with Costa Rica's Bryan Ruiz only expected to return on the eve of the trip to Carrow Road.

Steve Sidwell (knee) and Kieran Richardson (calf) are available again, new signings Stanislav Manolev and Eyong Enoh are unlikely to feature after being made to wait for their work permits, while Mahamadou Diarra (both knee) and Kerim Frei (pelvis) remain out.

Berbatov's hamstring problem could mean Fulham need goals from elsewhere in order to prevail against Norwich in a match where the losers could be dragged closer to the relegation zone.

"We have to talk to him (Berbatov) and the medical side to see if we start with him or bring him on," Jol said.

"When he had his injury eight days ago we thought it would cost a week so I'm confident he can make it."

Jol will face a friend in the opposing dugout in Norwich boss Hughton.

The pair worked together at Tottenham and Jol anticipated Hughton would make a success of management.

"It's always about getting a chance and he got his chance," Jol added.

"He went to Newcastle and had the chance to be number one and he grabbed that. He did ever so well and got promotion back to the Premier League.

"He didn't have the best of starts at Norwich but he has certainly proved he is a perfect manager.

"He's a fantastic guy."

Source: PA

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