Norwich vs Saints: Preview

By SFC Media time Fri 30 Aug Men's First team

Southampton travel to Norwich tomorrow (3pm kick-off) hoping to continue a 100% away record so far in the new season.

Saints grabbed an opening-day win at West Bromwich Albion, and this week progressed through to the third round of the Capital One Cup with a 5-1 success at Barnsley.

Those two results sandwiched a home draw with Sunderland last weekend, meaning the squad is unbeaten in its first three fixtures.

Tomorrow's game at Carrow Road is the last before a two-week international break, so the players will undoubtedly be keen to end their first batch of matches on a high note.

First Team Manager Mauricio Pochettino made nine changes at Oakwell on Tuesday, with a number of those brought into the side putting in impressive performances.

Steven Davis, Gastón Ramírez and Emmanuel Mayuka all scored on their first starts of the season, while there was also vital game-time for Nathaniel Clyne and Maya Yoshida at the back.

The Canaries have yet to register their first win of the new league season, drawing at home to Everton on the opening day before losing at newly-promoted Hull last Saturday.

However, they go into tomorrow's game on the back of a 6-3 win over Bury in the second round of the Capital One Cup.

Recent signings Johan Elmander and Leroy Fer both netted on their home debut for the Canaries, with the Swedish striker scoring twice, with City's other goals coming from Martin Olsson, Anthony Pilkington and Steven Whittaker.

Team news

Guly do Prado and Jos Hooiveld missed out on Tuesday's trip to Barnsley, so will be assessed by the Club's medical staff ahead of the trip to East Anglia.

Seven players more were allowed to miss that game having played against Sunderland last weekend, but all should make their return to the squad tomorrow.

One of those players, new signing Dani Osvaldo, could well make his full Saints debut having appeared as a half-time substitute against the Black Cats. Morgan Schneiderlin and Luke Shaw came off at the interval in that match with minor knocks, but have both trained this week.

In other news, skipper Adam Lallana is in line to make his 200th league appearance for the Club.

As for the Canaries, defender Ryan Bennett is a concern after picking up a knock against Bury in midweek. Elliott Bennett is out with a knee ligament injury.

Summer signing Gary Hooper, who played at Celtic with Saints duo Victor Wanyama and Jos Hooiveld, is yet to make his Norwich debut having picked up a shin injury in pre-season, and looks unlikely to feature tomorrow.

Managers' comments

Mauricio Pochettino: "It's going to be a complicated game away in their stadium. [Norwich] have reinforced their squad very well, so we're expecting a very tough game against them.

"They're physically a very strong side and a very quick side. They go on the counter-attack very quickly as well which is one of their main strengths. They're very well organised, and they know exactly what they need to do in every single moment of the game. Overall they're a very tough side [when] playing against them away from home.

"Winning always makes us happy and content, so our goal is basically to play as well as we can to try to get a victory this weekend."

Chris Hughton: "[Southampton] are a good side. They have a very good blend of youth – there's some wonderful young players they have in and around their team – but also experience and quality. 

"They are a club that has spent big over the a last couple of seasons. They have a vision and they want to keep improving. They've had a good start to the season having finished well last season, so they'll be a threat. They have a lot of good offensive options.

"It was a very hard-fought draw at our place [last season] – the conditions weren't the best and we missed a penalty in the last moments of the game. There were two good, very competitive sides on the day. It was a very, very good game and I think we can expect the same [again]. 

"They are a side that has a philosophy of play that is similar away as at home, but we are at home. Any home game is an opportunity for us to get points."

Previous meetings

As Hughton alludes to, these two sides shared the spoils at Carrow Road earlier this year in an incident-packed but ultimately goalless encounter back in March.

Saints had the better of the game but were almost sent home empty handed as referee Mark Clattenburg awarded the hosts a contentious penalty in second-half stoppage time, only for Artur Boruc to magnificently save Grant Holt's spot-kick.

Earlier in the season, the two teams played out another draw as Robert Snodgrass cancelled out Rickie Lambert's opener at St Mary's in late November.

Saints' last win at Carrow Road came in February 2010, when both teams were competing in npower League 1. Lee Barnard's double did the damage for the visitors against a Norwich team that went down to ten men on 66 minutes when Darel Russell was sent off.

Five of Southampton's last six games against the Canaries have ended in draws, and you have to go back as far as the 2007/08 season to find the most recent Norwich win.

Saturday's match will be the 98th competitive fixture between these two sides. 37 of those have ended in Saints wins, 31 have gone Norwich's way and the remaining 29 have resulted in draws.

Match information

Howard Webb has been appointed referee for tomorrow's match. Mike Mullarkey and Peter Bankes will run the line, while Kevin Friend will act as the fourth official.

Southampton's allocation of tickets for tomorrow's trip to Carrow Road has completely sold out. Please do not travel without a ticket.

Parking at Carrow Road on matchdays is very limited with pass holders only allowed access. Car park season ticket holders and relevant hospitality guests will have been issued with passes in advance. No pay on the day parking is available on-site at Carrow Road for first team matches. 

However, pay on the day parking is available at the nearby County Hall car park, which is approximately 10 minutes walk from the stadium at a cost of £6 per vehicle. To get there follow the directions from the A47 as above, but the car park is situated off the first exit of the roundabout from Martineau Lane. County Hall (postcode NR1 2DH) is the headquarters of Norfolk County Council.

Online coverage

As with every First Team game, we'll be providing minute-by-minute coverage throughout the day on our official Twitter feed plus goal updates on our official Facebook page.

You can listen to live commentary from Carrow Road courtesy of BBC Solent on Saints Player, where you can keep up to date with all the stats and scores from around the country.

You can watch Mauricio Pochettino's pre-match interviews on Saints Player now, and you can also hear from James Ward-Prowse later today.

After the match there will be plenty more content on and Saints Player, so stay tuned!

If you’re joining us at Carrow Road, don’t forget to take your smartphones and join in with #MarchingIn on our social media channels. Tweet us @SouthamptonFC or comment on our official Facebook page and upload images onto Instagram tagged with #MarchingIn for a chance to appear in our Matchday Magazine for the visit of West Ham United next month.

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