Norwich v Sunderland – Match Preview
Norwich were winless through the first seven games of the season, but have turned that form around with a seven-match unbeaten run to move up to 13th place on the table. Their last two results have shown all the qualities of a fighting side with a 90th-minute equaliser against Everton followed by another come-from-behind draw against Southampton.
Their form at Carrow Road has been very impressive too with three victories – including 1-0 triumphs over Manchester United and Arsenal – and just one defeat from their five home matches this season. But with just 11 goals from 14 games, Norwich lack a serious attacking threat and will have to make their most of their limited opportunities if they are to get a result in this clash.
While they have struggled in the front third, their defence has been relatively solid, even without first-choice goalkeeper John Ruddy, who is facing three months out with a thigh injury. Back-up Mark Bunn performed admirably against Southampton with a string of quality saves helping the Canaries hold on for a point.
Sunderland picked up a point last start against bottom-placed QPR, but will see it as a missed opportunity to gain a valuable victory.
The Black Cats have just one win from their past eight matches and have been sucked back into the relegation dogfight, sitting just one point clear of 18th-placed Southampton.
Martin O’Neill’s Sunderland have also struggled in front of goal with just 12 goals so far this campaign, although their last match on the road was an impressive 3-1 victory at Fulham. Steven Fletcher is enjoying a stellar season with six goals to his name already, but the Scottish striker has lacked support with Louis Saha and Frazier Campbell both yet to find the back of the net.
Sunderland have won three of the past four clashes between the two sides and will be hoping for another positive result to steer clear of the bottom three.
Prediction: Norwich 1 – 1 Sunderland