Can Holt Grant The Canaries The Points?
Norwich (23/20) take on Sunderland (14/5, Draw 2/1) at Carrow Road this Sunday and will be confident of stretching their unbeaten run to eight games. Sunderland have won just two of their last 21 Premier League matches and victory here would surely ease the pressure on their under fire boss.
The Canaries are enjoying a rich vein of form of late. Unbeaten since the 4-1 thrashing by Chelsea in early October, Norwich have gone seven games without defeat, with victories over Arsenal and Manchester United followed up with battling draws away to Everton and Southampton. Their current run is in no small part down to their solid defence; they have only conceded 3 goals in over 630 minutes of football and will be looking to deny the Black Cats again today. At the other end Grant Holt continues to bang them in and we have him at (5/1) to score the first or last goal and (5/4) to score at any time during the match. We have also enhanced hit Wincast price from 9/4 to 7/2, so if he scores and Norwich win, you win! We also have the same offer on Wes Hoolahan enhanced to 4/1.
Their recent change of fortune comes on the back of a terrible start to the season when they failed to win any if their first seven matches and follows two games where the conceded 11 goals but manager Chris Hughton seems to have distilled a belief within the team that they can compete with the Premier Leagues biggest clubs.
John ruddy had surgery on his thigh injury this week so Mark Bunn should retain his place in goal for Norwich and Russell Martin (25/1 first/last, 8/1 anytime) could come into the reckoning after recovering from a back problem. He was on the bench in midweek but failed to get a run out.
Sunderland on the other hand have seen their fortunes start to wane over the past few months. It will be a year on Monday that ex-Norwich boss Martin O'Neill took over at the Stadium of Light and he must surely be feeling the pressure. His team has only scored twelve goals in thirteen games so far, failing to score in five of them. O'Neill took over from Steve Bruce but actually has a worse win record than Bruce had at this point last season with four wins in twenty seven matches opposed to Bruce's five and a loss in Norfolk could cost him his job. They have the worst shooting record in the league, registering just 36 shots on target so far this season. The League is still very tight however, and a couple of moral boosting results would do the Black Cats the world of good and elevate them to mid table. That task has become harder though with team captain Lee Cattermole suffering knee ligament damage against QPR this week and facing a stretch on the sidelines.
Steven Fletcher is the clubs top scorer this season with 6 goals in all competitions and we have him at (11/2 first/last, 6/1 anytime). Again we have enhanced prices on Sunderland Wincasts, Fletcher to score and Sunderland to win is 4/1 and James McClean to win and Sunderland to win is 10/1.
Matt Killgallon (40/1 first/last 16/1 anytime)is a likely to continue for the injured John O'Shea, still out with a calf injury, and will partner Carlos Cuellar (33/1 first/last 12/1 anytime) at the back.
The omens don't look good for Sunderland with the home side winning this fixture on the past six occasions. Sunderland last won at Carrow Road in 1985 a week before the two teams contested the League Cup final with Norwich lifting the trophy on that occasion.
Grant Holt To Score and Norwich City To Win 7/2
Wes Hoolahan To Score and Norwich City To Win 4/1
Steven Fletcher To Score and Sunderland To Win 4/1
James McClean To Score and Sunderland To Win 10/1
Worth a Punt
Double Result - Norwich/Draw 14/1
Under 10 Corners and Over 6 Cards 16/1