Premier League – Norwich City v Swans at 15:00 on Saturday, 7th November 2015
Referee: Mark Clattenburg
Assistants: S Beck, J Collin
Fourth Official: G Eltringham
Despite a much improved performance last week against Arsenal, the Swans were dealt a somewhat harsh 3 nil defeat, as they squandered some decent chances which may have given the scoreline an entirely different feel.
The lack of punch up front, has led to numerous calls this week for Portugal international Eder to be handed his first Premier League start ahead of the clearly low in confidence Bafetimbi Gomis, whose early season form appears to have deserted him.
The Frenchman’s cause is certainly not helped by the fact that has been caught offside 23 times this season – more than twice as many times as any other player in the Premier League! Whether or not he gets put on the subs bench – in favour of Eder – remains to be seen, but he certainly needs to restore some faith, even if only to reduce his off-side tendancies.
The Swans can call upon a full strength side but despite calls to make changes, expect Monk to keep faith with the side that – in the first half at least last week – showed they can mix it with the big boys.
Norwich themselves are in the midst of a terrible run, having not won in their last 6 Premier League games, so the contest with the Swans will be about as much a mental battle as a physical one, as both sides look to turn around their recent run of poor form.
An injury to in-form loanee Matt Jarvis is a massive blow to Canaries’ boss Alex Neil, whilst last week’s sending off of skipper Russell Martin, will have a major impact on their defence. Former Cardiff front-man Cameron Jerome, who scored last week for the Canaries at Manchester City, will add some extra spice to an already key encounter.
The history books however, make ominous reading for Swans fans, as South Wales’ finest have only managed one win in their last 15 trips to East Anglia, including 3 draws and 11 defeats. Games between these sides in the top flight usually average 4 goals per game, but given the plight of both sides at the moment, this contest is likely to be a much tighther affair.
There is little doubt that Garry Monk will be looking for a positive result and peformance, otherwise the media vultures that have been circulating over recent weeks will increase in numbers with the international break looming large after this weekend.
EA SPORTS Player Performance Index Stats
Norwich will be looking to excite the home fans with goals at Carrow Road this weekend, but it’s their rock at the back Sebastien Bassong who they will look to at the other end of the pitch. No other Premier League player has made over 100 clearances this season, and his 106 clearances leads the way in the top flight so far this season.
Swansea also rely on their captain and rock at the back in what will be a battle of the centre backs, as whilst Bassong leads the way in the clearance league, Williams has made more blocks (17) than any other Premier League player so far this season.
Data courtesy of the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, the Official Player Rating Index of the Barclays Premier League
What the Pundits Think
Paul Merson (Sky Sports) – Norwich City 1 Swans 1
Norwich were unlucky at Manchester City last weekend. They did OK at the Etihad. but probably didn’t deserve a point, despite being close to getting one. They just lacked the guile in the final third to hurt City from promising positions. Swansea, meanwhile, are struggling, very much so, and I can’t separate these two.”
Mark Lawrenson (BBC) – Norwich City 2 Swans 1
Swansea had plenty of chances last week in their defeat by Arsenal but they have been in the Premier League long enough to know what happens if you don’t take them against the top clubs. Norwich had their own hard-luck story, losing at Manchester City after defending well for most of the game. I don’t see many goals in this Canaries team but Swansea will come at them, and that will suit Norwich at Carrow Road.”
Steve Wilson (BBC Match of the Day Commentator)
The two youngest Premier League managers will go head-to-head both desperately looking for points. Alex Neil and Gary Monk used to be team-mates at Barnsley so should know each other pretty well. They will have been going through similar emotions recently too. Neil’s Norwich have lost their last four but the fact they almost managed an unlikely point at Manchester City last time out should give some encouragement. Still, it’s nearly two months since their last league win and a long winter threatens. Meanwhile, Swansea have had problems of their own with an away win at Aston Villa their only success in the last seven.”
Last meeting at Carrow Road
15 December 2013: Norwich City 1 Swans 1
Current League Form (Last 6)
Norwich City: LLLLDD
Predicted Swans Starting XI:
Fabianski, Naughton, Fernandez, Williams (Capt), Taylor, Ki, Shelvey, Ayew, Sigurdsson, Montero, Gomis.
Norwich City 1 Swans 1
At the Bookies
Those of you who fancy a flutter might want to check out the odds being offered on the game at the moment.
If your a Gomis fan, then Sky Bet have the Frenchman to score first 11/2.
You may fancy odds of 11/4 on the Swans winning 1-0, 2-0 or 2-1.
If you’ve not got a Sky Bet account, they are currently offering a FREE £20 when you bet just £5.