Canaries Preview - Home, March 4th
If one is being brutally honest, there has been a lack of atmosphere at Vicarage Road this season. That is excepting midweek games, and with the run-in now well and truly underway, is there a better time for the midweek visit of Norwich City?
That said, the Canaries will be no pushovers; under now not-so-new manager Glenn Roeder, Norwich have shot up from bottom of the league to outsiders for the Play Offs. Of their last sixteen games, the East Anglian outfit have lost just two. Their most recent outing, a disappointing 2-1 reverse against Simon Grayson`s Blackpool at Carrow Road. Better luck on their travels? Hopefully not…
Their solitary scorer in that defeat was Jamie Cureton from the penalty spot. The original journeyman pro`, Cureton re-joined the Canaries from Colchester United on a free. Now 32, Cureton shows no signs of slowing up, in fact he`s probably been enjoying the purple vein of his career. At Layer Road last year the diminutive forward broke the 20 goal barrier and with Chris Iwelumno scored half the Essex side`s goals. Thankfully Iwelumno moved to the Valley, not Carrow Road.
At 28, Luke Chadwick seems to have been around forever. A one-time Manchester United startlet with a bright future ahead of him. Now, following stints with Stoke, West Ham and several others, Chadwick seems to have found permanent residence in East Anglia. A tricky wideman, Chadwick`s pace is a useful weapon in breaking down opposition defences. Though having learnt his trade under David Beckham, you`d imagine his crossing was ok too!
Up top with Cureton is likely to be Darren Huckerby, approaching his 32nd birthday, Huckerby is with his third club in this division having previously played for Manchester City and Nottingham Forest before joining Norwich. It was at Watford that the Nottingham-born forward notched on his Forest debut in a 1-1 draw against the Hornets, that, was five years ago. No longer a rising star, Huckerby has captained his charges frequently in the last couple of seasons and could take the armband again.
The man normally in possession of the captaincy is Mark Fotheringham. I say, 'normally` but it`s only recently the Scot has been awarded the captaincy. Captured last January from Dunee, the 25 year-old midfielder started his pro` career at Parkhead under Martin O`Neill.
Alongside Fotheringham in midfield will be either James Henry (on-loan from Reading) or another youngster, Kieran Gibbs (on-loan from Arsenal). In short, the sort of young, inexperienced kids, fresh out of Premier League academies who will never have faced the likes of John Eustace. Midfield battle won? No way…
Lee Croft is an established player at this level having left Manchester City in search of regular football. Signed for 600k two years ago, Croft managed just 4 senior league starts for the citizens, but was considered a prospect. An academy product, Croft can play down either flank and will be a threat for either Leigh Bromby or Mat Sadler.
After a poor performance from Aidy Mariappa last week at Burnley, it`s highly likely club captain Jay DeMerit will return alongside Dan Shittu with Leigh Bromby moving out to right back. Meanwhile, Collins John may even get a start! Shock! Horror!
Darren Huckerby is 'a massive doubt` for tomorrow due to a groin injury.
Last Time Out: Norwich City
Marshall; Otsemobor, Pearce, Doherty, Bertrand; Croft, Fotheringham, Gibbs, Pattison; Dublin, Cureton.
Lee; Bromby, Shittu, DeMerit, Sadler; Smith, O`Toole, Eustace, McAnuff; Ellington and Henderson.
Watford - Norwich City: Recent Results
0708: Norwich 1-3 Watford
0506: Norwich 2-3 Watford
Watford 2-1 Norwich
Come on you 'Ornsss!