Everton finish a succession of away ties with a meeting against an out of form Norwich side at Carrow Road. Both teams are desperate for the win, as Norwich haven’t won since mid-December and Everton’s Champions League dreams are slipping away.
Anichebe is again a doubt after being replaced at half time in the draw against Oldham Athletic last Saturday. Everton gaffer David Moyes will be hoping he will be fit as the in form Nigerian striker has put in a number of good displays since his return from injury, which is rather more that can be said this season from competition Nikica Jelavic. Some better news for the Toffees boss and Everton faithful is that Seamus Coleman is back in training and should be looking at nearing first team action soon. The Irishman hasn’t been in action after he hobbled off against Southampton a month ago and the Blues’ right side hasn’t been balanced since. John Stones could make the squad again, returning from being cup-tied against Oldham.
Canaries manager Chris Hughton has a near full squad apart from long term absentee and former Everton man John Ruddy. Hughton is also assessing Alex Tettey and Andrew Surman but is hopeful that both will be available for the clash.
Since the return of Norwich City to the top division, Grant Holt has given the Everton defence a good going over, scoring 2 in 3 and generally being a nuisance throughout the games. In two of those games he has faced John Heitinga in central defence where he has clearly had the upper hand in physicality. He still gave the back four of Everton a tough time in this fixture last year though, when the central positions were occupied by Jagielka and Distin, and the central pair will be looking to make amends and keep him quiet.
Two more threats lie in the form of the Canaries’ creative players, Wes Hoolahan and Robert Snodgrass. Hoolahan is a player that has mostly featured behind their captain Holt this season and while he can be quiet for large periods, he does have the ability to provide that moment of quality to win a game. Snodgrass is their set piece taker and a very good one at that, he is also their top scorer with 5 goals this season.
Norwich City’s last 6 – LLLDDD
Everton’s last 6 – DWWDLD
The last loss for the Blues against the yellow and gold of Norwich came in 1994.
The Canaries are Everton boss David Moyes’ second favourite opponents statistically, with 6 games unbeaten a record that hopefully isn’t ended on Saturday.
The head-to-head favours the Blues, with 21 wins to Norwich’s 15.
This match will be Everton’s 399th away tie in the Premier league. We are also currently on 599 away wins throughout our history.
299 is the amount of games American goalkeeper Tim Howard has played in the Royal Blue in all competitions before Saturday. He is just 4 consecutive appearances away from bettering the club record of 212 from legend Neville Southall.
Sylvain Distin could reach 400 premier league games on Saturday, which would mean he would be the first overseas player to do so.
Referee: L Mason
Assistant Referee: R West
Assistant Referee: A Holmes
Fourth Official: M Clattenburg
Predicted line up:
Howard; Neville, Jagielka, Distin, Baines; Osman, Gibson; Mirallas, Fellaini, Pieanar; Jelavic.