WBA-MAD Preview: Albion vs Norwich
Joseph Chapman looks forward to the visit of the Canaries
Sheer relief greeted the full time whistle at Carrow Road from the Albion fans after Peter Odemwingie scored early to seal a 1-0 win in 2011- this following three straight defeats at the start of the season. The Canaries would get their revenge however, winning 2-1 twice at the Hawthorns in January in league and cup fixtures.
It's all change at the top for both of these clubs since the trio of encounters last season. The experienced Roy Hodgson departed the Baggies with their blessing to take on the infamously thankless task of leading his country. Novice Steve Clarke was appointed, and to date his record is remarkable. Paul Lambert, too, left the Canaries. He took over the reins at Albion's nearest and dearest Aston Villa, and Norwich grabbed Chris Hughton from another midlands club, Birmingham City.
If Albion's start to the season considered them the surprise package, the last two and a half months have without doubt belonged to the team in yellow. Hughton's side have lost just once in their last twelve since falling to Chelsea at the start of October, that being a Capital One Cup exit at the hands of Villa. They have recorded victories over Arsenal and Manchester United, while scoring four at Swansea, and with a squad largely of young, hardworking, British talent, there is something to be admired about Albion's forthcoming opponents.
Seventh meets eighth in an intriguing fixture which fans attending hope will provide a match that keeps them warm in the doubtless icy conditions.
Claudio Yacob will again be unavailable for the hosts, a pivotal situation with the influential Youssouf Mulumbu suspended after picking up his fifth booking of the season against West Ham. Ben Foster has given himself a chance of challenging Boaz Myhill for the green jersey, while Steven Reid will miss out again with a bruised shin. Even if Liam Ridgewell is fit, he may struggle to make the XI after Goran Popov 'the Albion man' put in an impressive performance against the Hammers on Sunday.
As for the visitors, Grant Holt is a worry for the general Christmas period after being forced off in the 2-1 victory over Wigan on Saturday. The big striker has a suspected hamstring problem. John Ruddy remains out but loanee Harry Kane made his return from injury with two goals for the development squad this week.
Match statsAlbion have gone 315 minutes without scoring a goal. They have however, kept 8 clean sheets in their last 13 home games. Norwich haven't gone ten unbeaten since 1987. Four of the last five meetings between the two sides have ended in away wins (the other being a 2-0 win for West Brom in 2007) Before last season, the only two Premier League games played out by these two was in 2004/05, finishing 0-0 at the Hawthorns and 3-2 at Carrow Road. A name both teams can relate to: Gary Megson
I find this really tough to call. Norwich have to lose eventually, yet West Brom are in the middle of their inescapable December sticky patch. If the Canaries can follow Stoke and West Ham in their method of frustrating the Baggies, I can see them getting something. Steve Clarke will want a follow up to the performance on Sunday, where Albion were unlucky not to take all three points.
Match Score: 1-1
What do you think the score will be tomorrow? Have your say here at Baggies Banter.
Source: WBA MAD
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