Norwich City v Newcastle United; Barclays Premier League; Carrow Road; Saturday, December 10th; 15:00
Norwich City have no new injury worries but fit again Zak Whitbread may be in line for a first team recall. Long term absentees Richie de Laet, James Vaughan, Daniel Ayala and Elliott Ward are all still sidelined.
Newcastle United have a number of fitness problems, especially at the back. First choice central defensive partnership Fabricio Coloccini and Steven Taylor will miss the game, Coloccini has a thigh injury whilst Taylor is out for the season with a ruptured achilles tendon.
Danny Guthrie has a groin injury and will be sidelined for around six weeks. Cheick Tiote, Sylvain Marveaux and Mike Williamson have all missed several weeks of action and are unlikely to return for the trip to Carrow Road. Jonas Gutierrez is available after a one match ban.
Perch ready to answer the call
Newcastle United defender James Perch is confident he can fill the gap left by injury stricken Fabricio Coloccini and Steven Taylor.
Defensive solidity has been key to Newcastle's excellent start to the season, conceding only fifteen goals with six of those coming against high-flying Manchester City and Chelsea, but these issues are set to put their resources to the test.
Perch though is relishing the chance to take his place in the first team. He said: "I'm ready to step in. I've come on in the last couple of games, so it's not as if I've been away from the first team for a while."
The former Nottingham Forest man is sad to see his colleagues stricken, but wants to impress boss Alan Pardew. "I would never wish injury on anybody," Perch explained.
"It's an absolute disaster that Coloccini and Taylor are injured, because they've played brilliantly. But I've got to come in now and step up to the plate."
Norwich City manager Paul Lambert is hoping that his side can bounce back from their heaviest league defeat of the season, a 5-1 reverse at The Etihad Stadium last Saturday.
Lambert said: "I've always thought whether you win, lose or draw you move an as quickly as you possibly can."
The Canaries have not kept a clean sheet in any competition this season and Lambert will hope that they can buck that trend against the Magpies this weekend and insists that his defenders are still confident in their abilities.
"In two and a half years at the club I've never once felt that the confidence is lacking. We'll just dust ourselves down and go again. The aim for us this season must be to try and stay in the Premier League."News Now - Sport News