After the well earned 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge, on Boxing Day, Fulham travel to East Anglia on New Years Eve to face a Paul Lambert schooled Norwich side that have climbed through two divisions in as many seasons. Although Norwich may not be a team of starts, their work ethic has seen them pull off a couple of decent results this season and it is a fixture that could, quite easily, be laced with intrepidation, even more so when we hark back to our far from exceptional away record of recent years.
Norwich City Team News:
Paul Lambert is able to recall his defender Kyle Naughton after he was forced to miss out last time out due to Tottenham being his parent club.
Rated as doubtful though is the left-back Mark Tierney who has a groin strain.
Player to watch: Grant Holt
A bustling old fashioned style of centre forward, he may not necessarily start but he`s still capable of coming off the bench and causing any side problems.
Fulham Team News:
As well as being without the long term injury victim Grygera, it looks as if three important Fulham players will also be missing with Martin Jol giving the impression that Bobby Zamora, Andrew Johnson and Damien Duff will not have had sufficient time to shake off the knocks they are recovering from.
If that is the case then we expect Frei and Sa to continue to be given a first team opportunity, as was the case at Stamford Bridge on Boxing Day.
Player to watch: Bryan Ruiz
I`m still digesting that beautiful piece of skill that left Ashley Cole for dead, on Boxing Day the same piece of skill that provided Clint Dempsey with our equaliser, more of the same my Costa Rican friend.
Match Facts & Stats
The record books show that this is only the third Premier League meeting between the two sides, the last time we clashed Fulham emerged 6-0 winners back in May 2005.
We`ve established a neat little winning run over Norwich whereby we`ve not lost any of the last six league games we`ve played with our defence keeping a clean sheet in each of the last four.
But, returning to our far from convincing away record, apparently our tally of five away goals is the worst in the division and we`ve only registered one away win all season!
Carrow Road isn`t always the easiest place to go. Norwich play some slick football and will be looking to attack us. Having lost to Spurs the other night on home soil, Paul Lambert will be desperate to make sure that his side don`t lose two home games on the bounce. This could be a really tough fixture but I`m taking us to knuckle down, dig deep, defend resolutely and come back with at least a point.
Our next match sees us welcome Arsenal to Craven Cottage on Monday evening.