Norwich City will be determined to bounce back from their thrashing at lowly Newcastle United by seeing off a West Bromwich Albion side that they have already knocked out of the Capital One Cup.
For the remainder of this season, the Premier League is unlikely to see many worse defensive displays than the one Norwich produced on Tyneside, shipping six goals through a lack of intensity and organisation as well as carelessness in possession. Too many players were committed forward in attacking positions, leaving holding midfielder Alexander Tettey badly exposed while the full-backs were caught out all too often as Newcastle exploited the space they vacated.
In short, it was easy to see why the Canaries have not kept a clean sheet in the Premier League yet this season, so manager Alex Neil must be concerned with their lack of solidity. Sort out the defensive problems and they should be fine as they carry enough attacking threat, with Nathan Redmond continuing to find the net and Dieumerci Mbokani beginning to look a very shrewd signing; the Dynamo Kiev loanee having scored in his last three games for club and country.
The visitors were finally able to celebrate a home victory this season at the fifth attempt in their last match as they edged past Sunderland due to a controversial winning goal. Saido Berahino proved his worth to the club again with that strike, and he will be relishing the prospect of taking on a Norwich backline which will surely be short on confidence. His pace will cause problems, while a lot could rely on the quality of delivery from wide.
James McClean will be the man they look to for that, and it is about time he does his talking on the pitch after his goading antics towards the Sunderland supporters in the immediate aftermath of that game. As they have proved so difficult to break down on their travels, one goal may prove to be enough for Albion, who could move into the top half with a win and will surely be looking to gain revenge for what was a comprehensive defeat at Carrow Road just a few short weeks ago.
This game comes too soon for Norwich’s Youssouf Mulumbu, but Lewis Grabban and Gary Hooper may come into contention.
James Morrison is doubtful for West Brom, but otherwise they have a nearly fully-fit squad to choose from if Tony Pulis wishes to make any changes.
Last Meeting: One of very few wins for West Brom under Pepe Mel came in East Anglia in April 2014 and eventually proved crucial in deciding which of the two sides avoided relegation that season. The only goal was scored by Morgan Amalfitano after just over a quarter of an hour; the French winger firing a powerful low shot beyond John Ruddy. Norwich hit the bar twice through Gary Hooper and Robert Snodgrass, but could not find an equaliser.
Played for both – Andy Johnson: The Welsh midfielder began his career at Norwich in 1992 and was part of the squad which finished third in the first season of the Premier League. He stayed for five years before leaving in acrimonious circumstances and later joined West Brom in 2001. There, he helped the club to the Premier League on two separate occasions, with his only top-flight goal coming against Bolton Wanderers in 2002-03.
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