This will be a huge game for both teams as they look to bounce back from Boxing Day defeats and try and end 2012 in a positive manner.

Norwich were one of the form sides of the league up to a week ago and won’t want to let their standards slip and would not want to make it three defeats on the bounce.

Carrow Road had been the foundation of this success as they had managed six straight league wins before the visit of Chelsea last time out. If they are going to recover against the Premier League champions they need to recapture their invincibility at home.

If the last two meetings are anything to by though it is not pretty reading for the Canaries, as they have shipped a worrying 11 goals.

Man City fans had a lengthy trip up to the North East hoping to ensure the gap didn’t widen with their rivals Manchester United. It didn’t work out like that and if they are to maintain a title challenge, victory here is crucial.

They have been struggling up front as of late and will be desperately keen to avoid another lacklustre display up top. At the Stadium of Light a former ace in the form of Adam Johnson undone them there and they will be hoping that another former City player doesn’t curse them again in the form of Javier Garrido who Mancini let go in 2010.

Mario Balotelli looks set to miss out again with a virus but Nasri and Gael Clichy could come back into the fold. Zabaleta suffered a head injury last time out but that won’t stop him from featuring.

Norwich talisman Grant Holt returned to the side against Chelsea and the fact that he lasted the full 90 minutes would have come as a huge boost to Chris Hughton. Andrew Surman (knee), Ryan Bennett (knee) and John Ruddy (thigh) will all miss out though.

62% of Man City’s goals have come in the final half hour this season, so expect another nervy finish here.

Prediction: Norwich 0-2 Man City

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