Premier League preview: Newcastle United v Norwich City
16:27 16 March 2012
Team news, the player to watch, battle of the day, referee and betting for the Premier League clash between Newcastle United and Norwich City at 4pm on Sunday.
• Norwich City team news:
Midfielder Jonny Howson returns to the squad after missing last weekend’s Premier League home draw against Wigan with a flu bug. Defenders Marc Tierney (knee) and Dani Ayala (hamstring) are still ruled out but Paul Lambert revealed yesterday both are expected to rejoin first team training next week. James Vaughan is still sidelined with a hamstring problem. Lambert reported no fresh injury concerns following the Latics draw. Keeper Declan Rudd (foot) is a longer term absentee. Steve Morison pushed his claims for a start after an impressive late cameo last weekend. Subs (from): Steer, R Bennett, Barnett, Drury, Pilkington, Crofts, E Bennett, Jackson, Wilbraham.
• Newcastle United team news:
Midfielder Cheick Tiote and defender Danny Simpson picked up injuries in the midweek league defeat at Arsenal. Tiote picked up a hamstring problem in Monday night’s 2-1 defeat at Arsenal, while full-back Simpson suffered an abductor strain. Magpies’ boss Alan Pardew otherwise has no new injury concerns, although striker Peter Lovenkrands (thigh) and fellow long-term absentees Leon Best and Sammy Ameobi (both knee), Steven Taylor (Achilles) and Sylvain Marveaux (groin) are still missing.
Subs (from): Elliott, Perch, Ferguson, Guthrie, Gosling, Vuckic, Obertan, Ameobi.
Alan Pardew Walked into the club on a hiding to nothing after replacing the popular Chris Hughton. Now being talked about in despatches with regard to the England managerial vacancy. Which underlines the stunning impact Pardew has had on the Geordies since taking over in December 2010. Managed at Reading, West Ham, Charlton and Southampton. Guided the Hammers to the FA Cup final in 2006 after promotion from the Championship the previous sesaon via the play-offs. Failed to keep Charlton in the Premier League but won the Football League Trophy at Southampton in 2010.
• One to watch:
The French international midfielder has been a key part of Newcastle’s impressive bid for European football. Signed a five-year deal last summer for an undisclosed fee from boyhood club Lille after winning the domestic league and cup double. Talented playmaker who has progressed through the French age group ranks at international level. Made his senior debut for ‘Les Bleus’ in a friendly against Norway in August 2010.
Phil Dowd (Staffordshire) Booked three Norwich players in the 2-1 home Premier League defeat to Arsenal in November. Shown 107 yellow and four red cards this season.
Newcastle 4/5, Norwich 7/2, draw 5/2. First scorer Newcastle: Ba 4/1, Ameobi, Cisse 5/1, Ben Arfa 7/1, Vuckic 8/1, Cabaye 10/1.
City: Holt, Morison 8/1, Jackson, Wilbraham 10/1, Hoolahan, Pilkington, Surman 12/1.
No goalscorer: 12/1.
• Battle of the day:
Zak Whitbread v Demba Ba
Whitbread will need little introduction after his rocky return from a hamstring injury in December’s 4-2 win for he Canaries. Ba’s double continued his impressive start to life in the north-east. The Senegalese has notched 17 goals in 30 appearance for the Magpies. Whitbread has looked the part since his latest return from injury and will no doubt be keen to underline his progress when they re-oppose.