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Norwich V Man City at Carrow Road : Match Preview

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Updated 28 Dec 2012 15:31:17

Norwich V Man City at Carrow Road : Match Preview

Norwich V Man City - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.


No fresh worries for Hughton

Norwich manager Chris Hughton has no new injury concerns as he welcomes Barclays Premier League champions Manchester City to Carrow Road on Saturday.

Defender Steven Whittaker will miss out with an ongoing hip injury with Andrew Surman also unlikely to feature as he continues his recovery from a knee problem.

Ryan Bennett is back in contention after returning to the bench against Chelsea on Boxing Day, while John Ruddy (thigh) is the only long-term absentee for the Canaries.

Norwich defender Javier Garrido is looking forward to locking horns with some familiar faces.

The 27-year-old is currently on loan at Norwich from Lazio after spending three years at the Etihad.

Garrido has been one of the most consistent performers for Hughton's Canaries this season and has drawn plaudits for his displays at left-back.

The former Spain Under-21 international left City shortly after the signing of Aleksandar Kolarov and was a member of the squad during the transition in ownership that saw Sheikh Mansour complete a takeover.

"I have got good memories, everything changed so fast from one year to another," Garrido said of his time at Man City.

"I had three years there and have friends there so it is going to be a new experience but as soon as the referee starts the game I will do my best to beat them.

"It was a special situation because when I arrived there they signed seven or eight players but then the owner changed with new ideas and new staff.

"It was a good thing to just be involved in training and playing with names like (Carlos) Tevez, they are top class players - it makes you grow as a player."

Hughton's side head into the match with the reigning champions on the back of successive defeats to West Brom and Chelsea.

Before the festive period Norwich had been unbeaten since travelling to face the Blues on October 6 and Garrido is hoping they can return to winning ways on Saturday.

He said: "It was very important to be unbeaten for nine games and now we have a difficult game and we will do our best just to keep some points.

"All of the teams are trying to win as many games as possible - everyone has to work hard and Saturday we play another game. It is at home so we can play to our strengths."

Manchester City assistant boss David Platt is confident the champions still have the firepower to recover lost ground in the title race.

City have fallen seven points behind Barclays Premier League leaders Manchester United after suffering a shock loss at Sunderland on Boxing Day.

The lack of goals from strikers has been one of the factors for City's so far below-par challenge but - having overhauled an eight-point deficit with six games remaining last term - the club expect to come good.

Platt, first-team coach at the Etihad Stadium, said: "Seven points is a significant amount, there's no doubt about it.

"United are in the driving seat but there is half a season to go.

"I don't think it is insurmountable by any stretch of the imagination.

"It's not as though we are playing badly. We feel as though we are playing well, we are producing efforts on target.

"We are dominating possession and every statistic in most games, except goals."

Forward Samir Nasri could return from a hamstring injury as City look to get back to winning ways at Carrow Road. Defender Gael Clichy could also be back in contention but Balotelli, who has missed the last three games, remains a doubt.

"Mario is still feeling the effects of the virus," Platt said.

City won 6-1 at Norwich in April but the Canaries have beaten Arsenal, Tottenham and United at home in recent months.

Platt said: "We want to bounce straight back and go down there and produce a performance like we did at Sunderland but this time get the goals that our performance deserves.

"They will make it very difficult. They defend as a group, they are very compact, they don't give a great deal away and then they have got players who can hit you on the break."



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