Norwich City host Manchester United this weekend looking to continue their excellent season in the Premier League, perhaps denting their opponents title hopes in the process as their price of 5/1 will attract many.
With 25 games gone of the current campaign, the Canaries find themselves in 8th position, a massive 14 points clear of the relegation zone. They are actually close to the Champions League places than they are the bottom three.
Manager Paul Lambert has continuously played down the team’s achievements though, saying that remaining in the Premier League is still the main priority. He will not let the team’s focus slip in the next few weeks.
There is no doubt that Norwich are enjoying their return to top-flight football though. They have only suffered two league defeats in 2012 – against Tottenham and in-form Sunderland – while they have only lost three times at Carrow Road all season.
Lambert’s men did suffer a disappointing FA Cup defeat to Leicester City last weekend, but last time out in the league they won 3-2 at Swansea, joining Sunday’s opponents Manchester United as the only two teams to win at the Liberty Stadium this season.
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Despite Norwich’s impressive form, there is no doubt that Manchester United are favourites to come to Carrow Road and win the game. They certainly need the points with title rivals Manchester City likely to be five points above them by the time this one gets underway.
Sir Alex Ferguson would have been hugely disappointed with the 2-1 defeat with Ajax during the week too, so he will want a response from his players. They may have still progressed in the Europa League on aggregate, but Ferguson will be expecting his team to be more professional on Sunday afternoon.
Looking at the team news for this one, Norwich could welcome back defender Zak Whitbread after he has recovered from a hamstring injury, although Daniel Ayala, Marc Tierney and Jonny Howson are all set to miss out.
For United, they hope to have Wayne Rooney back involved after he missed the defeat to Ajax with a throat infection.
Rio Ferdinand also returns to the squad, although there are fears over Tom Cleverley after his ankle injury came to prominence again at the weekend.