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P.J. Murray 10th Sep 2011 - 21:18

Norwich on the verge of first season win

Newly promoted Nowrwich are still searching for their first Premier League and a pointless West Brom may provide that opportunity.

Norwich boss Paul Lambert has not only masterminded his sides promotion, but he also gave a tactical masterclass against Chelsea and almost pulled off an immense upset in beating the Londoners, but alas a final ten minutes to forget saw any chance of three points disappear.

Declan Rudd will start in between the sticks for the Canaries, his last appearance saw him immediately have to pick the ball out of the net against the Blues.

At a glance it may look dour for West Brom, second from bottom with no points, but it must be remembered that they have already played Man Utd and Chelsea. Roy Hodgson has also pulled off a masterstroke by gaining the services of Ireland's Shane Long. Since his move from Reading he has proved to be a revelation for the Baggies, but he is currently 50/50 about whether he will start. If he doesn't, it will be a big loss.

Norwich (6/4) have scored 18 goals in their last ten top flight games, although it must be noted that their last appearance in the Prem was in the 04/05 season. But if they are to gain their first win they have to cut out the penalties and the red cards. They have given away one in each game, two of which resulted in red cards.

West Brom (9/5) are staring an unwanted record square in the face, the Baggies have never lost their opening four games in the Premier League. The last time they started with three opening defeats they were relegated, that was back in 02/03. The draw here is priced at 23/10.

Paul Lamberts side have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last 10 league outings, something with Richie De Laet and co will look to change today. Both teams to score here looks to be a good bet at 4/6. Grant Holt opened the scoring against Chelsea last week and the striker is 6/1 here to open the scoring, he is 7/4 to hit the back of the net anytime.

If Long fails to start then the attacking duties will rest with the very accomplished Peter Odemwingie who is 8/1 to score first and 11/4 to score anytime.  Hodgson has asked his side to lift the goal scoring duties off the Nigerian International.  This could see Simon Cox stepping up to the mark and at 10/1 he would be a nice return for first goalscorer.

For me this has a first home win written all over it. The Canaries have been threatening and had they held on against Chelsea they would certainly be odds on here, but although they went down 3-1 they more than matched Lampard and Co for the majority of the match. West Brom will be more their level.


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