October 21 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
‘Bouncebackability’ may be a made-up word but it’s a quality the Premier League’s big boys have in bucketloads – and something Norwich City have already been on the wrong end of this season.
What they will hope is to avoid being on the wrong side of it again on Saturday – although the evidence isn’t especially confidence-building.
Before Manchester City’s defeat at home to Chelsea last night, the Premier League’s top four had lost 16 games between them this season – but only once have they gone on to lose back-to-back games.
In fact, the other 14 occasions have brought 12 wins – the only one we don’t know the answer to at present is how Manchester City will bounce back from Monday’s defeat when they arrive at Carrow Road to face Norwich on Saturday.
Coincidentally, Norwich’s game at the Etihad in November followed the Citizens’ late 2-1 defeat at Chelsea thanks to Joe Hart’s error. The hosts went on to smash Chris Hughton’s men for seven.
And that may be the reason Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini was far from panicking over Monday’s loss – their fifth of the top-flight campaign.
“For Chelsea it was a decisive game – not for us,” he said. “If we won we were six points ahead of them (and top of the table). Now we are two points behind Arsenal. We have 39 points to play for.
“Nobody is thinking about records, we are just thinking about winning the games.”
What Manchester City will have to contend with at Carrow Road is their list of absentees.
Sergio Aguero is at the beginning of a month on the sidelines with a calf injury, while Fernandinho pulled out before Monday’s game with an unspecified muscle strain – he is expected to be out for at least a fortnight.
Samir Nasri will be absent with a knee injury but Javi Garcia is expected to be back after missing Monday, while James Milner was on the bench.