Norwich City v Swansea City – Match Preview

Two promoted sides meet at Carrow Road on Saturday as Swansea travel to Norfolk to face Norwich with both sides looking to maintain their positive starts to the season.

The Canaries have been in superb form over the last few weeks beating Bolton and Sunderland before going down fighting to Manchester United at Old Trafford two weeks ago. The wins prior to that game catapulted Paul Lamberts side up the Premier League table and into the top half. Coincidentally they sit ninth which is a place above this weeks opponent with goal difference working in their favour. They could have been much higher though if Anthony Pilkington hadn’t squandered some glorious chances against United a fortnight ago. Lamberts men eventually succumbed to two late goals but it was the gritty performance that impressed the most.  They should fancy their chances against their Welsh visitors having won nine out of the last 10 games against the Swans at Carrow Road. In fact they’ve lost only one out of the last 15 home, which should stand them in good stead on Saturday. The performances of Pilkington, Bradley Johnson and Elliott Bennett have been encouraging considering they were plying their trade outside the top flight last season. Their quick adaption has served Norwich well with Johnson in particular becoming a vital part of Lamberts midfield since his free move from Leeds.

Brendan Rodgers side have also suitably impressed despite failing to score in their opening five games. Since then they have found their goal scoring touch with Scott Sinclair and Danny Graham both amongst the goals in the 2-0 win over Stoke a fortnight ago. Despite their poor run against the Canaries they should have no trouble finding the net considering Norwich have kept only three clean sheets in the last 24 games. Rodgers side away form is sketchy though with only one win in nine on the road making the trip to Carrow Road all the more daunting. However performances have been encouraging with the Swans showing a steely resilience that will give them a fighting chance of staying up this season. Despite losing 4-0 away at Manchester City in their first ever top-flight game they have battled back and won a host of admirers for their slick brand of passing and attacking football. Record signing Graham’s maiden strike in a Swans shirt last week will have eased the pressure on his shoulders and he’ll be confident of finding the net again this week.

Key Players

Bradley Johnson – An integral part of Lamberts midfield the former Leeds man has added an energy and battling quality to the Canaries. His willingness to close down and run himself ragged have endeared him to supporters already and he’ll be prepared to do the hard work again to ensure victory on Saturday.

Ashley Williams – The big Welshman has adapted to the Premier League with ease since promotion and will have a huge task keeping out a hungry Norwich attack. International teammate Steve Morison is likely to be Norwich’s main striking threat but there will be no room for friendship when the pair come head-to-head.

Verdict: 2-2

  • Johnson has been the motor behind the Norwich team this season, and their squad have covered by far the most ground of any club in the Barclays Premier League with 868.7km. Newcastle are second with 834.4km covered but have still covered 4% less ground than Norwich.
  • Marc Tierney is the next highest ranked player in 70th place, and has won 82% of the 17 tackles he has attempted
  • Swansea took 5 Barclays Premier League games before they scored their first goal, but have since scored six in three games
  • Wales defender Ashley Williams is the Swans top ranked player in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index and is ranked 38th. Williams has scored once from four attempts at goal and won 63% of tackles attempted. He has also made 10 clearances and 12 interceptions.
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