The odds are firmly stacked against relegation-threatened Norwich City in what should prove a difficult home encounter against Wigan Athletic. Wigan have been playing far beyond expectations in the league all season and find themselves 6th with just six games remaining. If results swing the Latics’ way, they could climb to 4th as the race for Champions League spots hots up. 4th place Arsenal are on 53 points, with Liverpool and Wigan on 52. Chelsea in 7th are on 48 points, but have three games in hand. Wigan will welcome winger Shaun MALONEY back to the squad following his knee injury.
Following Norwich’s 3-1 defeat by West Ham last weekend, Martin O’Neill’s side sit in the third relagtion spot on 26 spots, three points behind 17th place Reading (who have a game in hand), having lost three of their last five home matches in the Premier League. The Canaries haven’t taken three points in a league fixture since January 19th, and have lost 11 in 14 matches (all competitions). Norwich will be without top scorer Grant HOLT and first-choice keeper John RUDDY.
Odds and Form:
- SkyBet: 3-1 Norwich, 2-1 Draw, 4-5F Wigan
- Norwich: Home LDLWLL | Overall LLLLDL
- Wigan: Away WLOLWL | Overall DWLWOW
- Norwich: John RUDDY (finger), Grant HOLT (hip), ANELE (suspended)
- Wigan: Mauro BOSELLI (back, 5 weeks), Albert CRUSAT (cold).
- Referee: Mark Clattenburg (24 matches, 58 yellows, 4 reds)
Last Time Out: Wigan 1-1 Norwich, 28.1.12
“Wigan aren’t the best on the road but Norwich will miss Holt and Anele so I cant’ see where their goals are coming from today.”
First half livetweets from @realtimeFM:
0′ We’re under way at Carrow Road. 18th Norwich hosting 6th Wigan. Home side missing key players and in awful form.
4′ First action of any note comes from a Wes Hoolahan freekick. Saved low by Al-Habsi from 25 yards after Garcia foul.
In the early kick-off, Manchester United drew 2-2 at home to Aston Villa. Utd 2 pts behind leaders Spurs, Villa stay 8th.
14′ Norwich controlling the early play here, Hoolahan a nuisance to the centre backs. Meanwhile, Tettey is off for treatment.
19′ Santiago Garcia sees yellow for pulling back Hoolahan. He’s committed four fouls on the winger already today.
30′ Wigan win their first corner on the half-hour mark, but it doesn’t beat the first man. Dull affair so far.
HALF TIME: Norwich 0-0 Wigan. Most exciting thing was the ten minutes spent looking for a lost watch.
Second half livetweets from @realtimeFM:
46′ Wigan made a change at the break. Ben Watson replacing James McCarthy.
58′ GOAL! 1-0 Wigan. McArthur reacts first to a clearance and slides ball to GUIDETTI who rifles home first time, Bassong plays him onside.
62′ Alexander Tettey cautioned for a foul on Guidetti. Wigan lifted by the goal and pushing forwards.
65′ SUB: Jean Beausejour replaces Santiago Garcia. Ronnie Stam replaces Shaun Maloney.
72′ Harry Kane replaces Wes Hoolahan for Norwich, as the Wigan back four breathe a sigh of relief. Norwich taking long range potshots. Dull.
74′ Ivan Ramis cautioned for a foul on Surman. Wigan break on a counter from the free kick, win a couple of corners in succession.
89′ Caldwell slams a free kick inches wide. Three minutes added on. Stay awake at the back!
91′ Bassong hacks one off the line from Caldwell after the Wigan skipper pokes it at goal from Reginaldo’s quick free kick.
93′ EQUALISER! Wigan throw it away with thirty seconds to go. Stam’s back pass is wide, and Al-Habsi hits it straight at KANE to knock home.
And there’s the final whistle. Latics gift Norwich a point as Stam and Al-Habsi make a mess of it with 30 seconds to go. Norwich 1-1 Wigan.
Post-Match Press Conference:
People: That was Ali Al-Habsi’s 100th league appearance for Wigan. Just how important a plaer has he been for this club?
GS: It’s a great achievement and show what a wonderful servant Ali has been to this club and its fans.
Eastern Daily Press: Harry Kane’s dramatic late equaliser must have been a real kick in the teeth. How will that moment affect the team?
GS: They will learn from that experience and not concedelate in a match like that again.
KiCK: The Football Writers award is fast approaching. Who do you think will win it?
GS: Gareth Bale.
- Fulham 2 – 1 Reading
- Liverpool 0 – 2 Newcastle United
- Manchester United 2 – 2 Aston Villa
- Norwich City 1 – 1 Wigan Athletic
- Arsenal – Stoke City (SUN)
- Chelsea – Queens Park Rangers (SUN)
- Southampton West Ham United (MON)
FA Cup Semi Finals:
- Manchester City 1 – 3 aet Tottenham Hotspur
- Everton – Swansea City (SUN)