Norwich Preview

Thursday 2 December 2004

Fulham travel to Norfolk to face Norwich City, The Barclays Premiership's draw specialists. Only Norwich's near neighbours Ipswich Town have drawn as many games as The Canaries at this stage of a Premiership season with nine games finishing with the honours shared.

Norwich have been slow starters in games this season and a league table for first half performances only would have Norwich bottom (Fulham would be seventh). However, Nigel Worthington's half time actions have had a galvanising effect on his side and a table based purely on the second half performances would have Norwich in sixth position (Fulham would be 16th).

Because of this, Norwich have led in just three of their 15 league matches this term - the lowest number in The Barclays Premiership.

Norwich's plight worsened with a freak training ground injury to Damien Francis, the week after the former Wimbledon player's brace of goals gave his team their first win of the season. The Wandsworth-born midfielder has attempted more shots than any other member of Norwich's squad, with four goals coming from his 27 shots at goal.

In all, The Canaries have been behind for 489 minutes (36%) of their Premiership playing time this campaign, more than any other team. Meanwhile, Fulham have been level for just 586 minutes (43%) of their games that is the lowest value in the league.

Fulham will be hoping for a quick return to fitness for Luis Boa Morte after his injury layoff. The Portugal international has five goals and four assists to his name this season, which accounts for 53% of Fulham's league goals. Only Crystal Palace's Andrew Johnson can match Boa Morte's contribution to his team's scoring this campaign.

In goal for Norwich will be the division's busiest goalkeeper this season. Robert Green has started all 15 league matches for Norwich and has been called upon 64 times to prevent an opposition shot finding the net, with a save success of 74%.

Norwich are the last member of the current Premiership's bottom six that Fulham have to play and the four previous games have yielded just four points and two goals. If Fulham are to begin their climb to mid-table safety, picking up points in games against the struggling teams is a must. There would be no better way to start than returning from Carrow Road with three points.