Premier League preview - Fulham v Norwich City
16:15 30 March 2012
Team news, the player to watch, battle of the day, referee and betting for the Premier League clash between Fulham and Norwich City at 3pm on Saturday.
• Norwich City team news:
Paul Lambert will make a late decision on the fitness of midfielder Anthony Pilkington and defender Dani Ayala. Pilkington missed the Wolves win with a hamstring injury. Ayala came through a 90 minute reserve run out in midweek. Marc Tierney (knee) will start full training on Monday and could feature in the reserve home game against Sunderland. Lambert is cautiously optimistic James Vaughan (hamstring) will play some part before the end of the season. Keeper Declan Rudd (foot) is now back with the first team, but will not be considered for this weekend. Skipper Grant Holt is suspended for his two yellow cards against Wolves. Subs (from): Steer, R Bennett, Lappin, Surman, Drury, Crofts, Pilkington, Wilbraham.
• Fulham team news:
Midfielder Alex Kacaniklic has been recalled from his loan spell at Watford and the Sweden U19 international goes straight into the squad. The Cottagers have no fresh injury concerns with Neil Etheridge (wrist), Zdenek Grygera (knee), Steve Sidwell (hernia) and Orlando Sa (hamstring) all still on the sidelines.
Subs (from): Stockdale, Senderos, Briggs, Murphy, Ruiz, Etuhu, Trotta, Kacaniklic.
Martin Jol The well-travelled Dutchman has managed in three countries, along with spells in the mid 1980s as a player at West Brom and Coventry. Has won two Dutch Cups as a manager with Roda and Ajax. Best known for a successful stint at Tottenham, which included a near miss on a Champions League place on the final day of the 2005/06 season. Qualified again for the then-titled Uefa Cup the following season. Led Hamburg to the Europa League semi-finals. Pipped to the Dutch title in 2010 by a point to Steve McLaren’s FC Twente. Signed a two-year deal in June 2011 at Fulham.
• One to watch:
The Belgian international midfielder is pivotal to the Cottagers’ smooth passing style of play. Graduated throught Dutch club football before he reportedly snubbed a proposed move to Birmingham in favour of a £5m, three year switch to Craven Cottage in 2010. Dembele swiftly made his mark in English football with a solo strike against Tottenham voted Fulham’s goal-of-the-season in his first campaign. Played a prominent role in his country’s 2012 European Championship qualifying campaign.
Anthony Taylor (Manchester) Booked Leon Barnett and Elliott Bennett in Norwich’s 3-3 Premier League home draw against Blackburn. Shown 82 yellow and six red cards this season.
Fulham 8/11, Norwich 4/1, draw 5/2. First scorer: City: Morison 8/1, Jackson, Wilbraham 10/1, Pilkington, Hoolahan, Surman 12/1.
Fulham: Pogrebnyak 4/1, Dempsey 5/1, Johnson, Ruiz 6/1, Dembele, Sa 7/1.
No goalscorer: 8/1.
• Battle of the day:
Jonny Howson v Moussa Dembele
This has all the ingredients of a duel of the attacking midfield talents. Howson has swiftly started to demonstrate what an astute piece of transfer business City may have completed in the last window. Energy, vision and a desire to break into the opposition penalty area. Traits the Belgian international midfielder has also displayed in his successful switch to the Premier League. Two quality operators.