Norwich City v Sunderland – Match Preview

Norwich City and Sunderland meet at Carrow Road on Monday looking to make it two wins in a row after both sides picked up their first victories last week.

The Canaries shone against Bolton last Saturday coming away 2-1 winners and finally registering their first three points since gaining promotion back to the Premier League. Paul Lambert’s side had struggled in their opening fixtures and it looked like another winless game would put a dent in their confidence although they’ll need to stop conceding penalties having given away five already. Their morale is riding high though after they dispatched the Trotters with ease at the Reebok Stadium and will be desperate to get out onto the field at Carrow Road to repeat the feat against Sunderland. It would’t be a surprise to see Norwich run out victors with the last five league meetings between the sides ending 1-0 in favour of the home side. Grant Holt looks better every game as he continues to adapt to the top flight – a league he’s playing in for the first time. Despite not getting on the scoresheet last weekend he still proved to be a handful for the Bolton defence with his strength and persistence causing havoc. He’ll need to be on song for the visit of Sunderland who won 4-1 on their last visit to Suffolk in a Carling Cup fixture two years ago.

A repeat of that result would go down very well with Black Cats boss Steve Bruce who finally saw his side get up and running with a 4-0 win over Stoke City last Sunday. It was sweet relief for Bruce who was under increasing pressure to get results after a damaging start to the new campaign which included a 1-0 defeat against local rivals Newcastle. But the emphatic victory over the Potters flushed away any negativity that surrounded the Stadium of Light and gave Bruce some much need rest bite with constant rumours over his ability to take Sunderland forward. The Asamoah Gyan debacle is firmly behind him now with Nicklas Bendtner proving himself a more than capable replacement with a dynamic showing at Stoke last week. He’ll be looking to break his Black Cats duck against the Canaries and will be relying on Seb Larsson to provide the ammunition from out wide.

Neither side has any new injury worries with Phil Bardsley banned for the visitors.

Key Player

Grant Holt: The big striker is the heart and soul of the Norwich side and his physical presence will be a major asset in the hunt for victory against Sunderland. He’s hit the net only once this season so far but has played a much bigger role than just a goalscorer this season.

Nicklas Bendtner: Despite not scoring in his first two appearances the big Dane has impressed sufficiently enough and will be hungry for goals on the trip to Suffolk. With Larsson and Stephane Sessegnon supporting him it’s only a matter of time before he has a goal to his name.

Verdict: 1-1

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