Norwich City v QPR: Match Preview


Norwich City v QPR; Barclays Premier League; Carrow Road; Saturday 26 November 2011, 15:00

Team News

Norwich boss Paul Lambert still has injury problems at the back despite Zak Whitbread, Daniel Ayala and Ritchie de Laet returning to training.

None of the aforementioned trio are ready for a first-team return, so Russell Martin is again expected to deputise at centre back.

Meanwhile, Neil Warnock will be without suspended QPR captain Joey Barton after the midfielder picked up his fifth booking of the season in last weekend's victory over Stoke City.

Luke Young and Danny Gabbidon have not travelled to East Anglia, but in-form striker Heidar Helguson has been passed fit for the Carrow Road clash.

Canaries concentrating on defence

Norwich must tighten up at the back if they want to maintain their good start to the Barclays Premier League campaign says defender Russell Martin.

The Canaries have impressed on their return to the top-flight, and manager Paul Lamber will be looking for the club's fourth win of the season when they welcome QPR to Carrow Road on Saturday.

Martin, who has been deployed as a makeshift centre-half in the past couple of weeks is determined to help Norwich improve their defensive record- who have failed to keep a single clean sheet in 2011-12 - and the 25-year-old insists the players are learning all the time, after falling to a 2-1 defeat against Arsenal last weekend.

"You get punished at this level," he confirmed. "Van Persie is in the form of his life at the moment and he is one of the best players in the world.

"But we move on. We learned a lesson from it. We need to defend better. If we get back to a solid base we will win games."

Martin knows that it is unlikely Norwich will rein in their natural attacking instincts that have propelled them to 11th in the table, but regardless of their approach, he says that the players should be aiming for three points against Rangers.

"Under the gaffer it's all about winning," he added.

"Against Arsenal anything is a bonus. But QPR are a team expected to be around us so that is the added importance."

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