It’s 13th versus 14th in the Barclays Premier League on Saturday (3pm) as both Fulham and Norwich City aim to put further distance between themselves and the relegation places.
Both sides currently have a decent cushion of seven points separating themselves from the drop zone, although a win at Carrow Road at the weekend could catapult the victors into the top half of the table.
Fixtures against Norwich have been prosperous for the Whites in recent times, with the Canaries failing to get the better of Fulham for 27 years. In that time, we’ve won nine matches out of 11 against the Norfolk side – scoring 27 goals in the process – and drawing just twice.
Norwich have had an unusual season so far when it comes to form. They failed to muster a league victory in the opening seven matches of the campaign, but then went 10 games without tasting defeat. That has since been followed up by eight league outings without a win, although they have secured valuable draws at home to Tottenham Hotspur and away to Queens Park Rangers in their two most recent games.
An injury to John Ruddy has meant Mark Bunn has been positioned between the sticks for the Canaries’ last 12 league matches and the 28-year-old stopper has been a reliable custodian in the England keeper’s absence. His most notable heroics came last weekend when he kept out Adel Taarabt’s penalty to secure his side a point at Loftus Road.
Manager Chris Hughton was keen to strengthen his attacking options during the January transfer window and he can now call on Argentine striker Luciano Becchio. The frontman signed from Leeds United on deadline day in a deal that saw Steve Morison move to Elland Road. The Canaries have found goals hard to come by this season so fans will be hopeful that Becchio is the man to bring them to Carrow Road.
Last time out
Fulham 5-0 Norwich City 18.08.2012
The Whites kicked off the 2012/13 campaign in style as we dominated Norwich from start to finish on the opening day of the season in the basking sunshine at Craven Cottage.
Damien Duff scored our first goal of the new term when he was picked out by a glorious crossfield pass from John Arne Riise on 26 minutes. The winger kept his composure to prod beyond the onrushing Ruddy and inside the far post.
The lead was doubled quarter of an hour later when Mladen Petrić headed home a debut goal when he met Duff’s corner as the Whites took a deserved two-goal lead into the interval.
There was no let-up when the sides emerged for the second period and it took less than 10 minutes for Petrić to double his tally for the day when he smashed the ball in from 25 yards, although a sizeable deflection helped it on its way.
It was 4-0 not long after as Alexander Kačaniklić found the back of the net to open his account for the Club. It was a goal of supreme quality as Mousa Dembélé fed Petrić who then delivered an exquisite flick to find Kačaniklić in space. The Swede showed composure beyond his years to slot the ball confidently beyond Ruddy.
The Whites continued to dominate proceedings and had time to add a fifth when substitute debutant Hugo Rodallega was felled in the box and Steve Sidwell stepped up to emphatically plant the penalty into the top corner of the net to send Fulham to the summit of the league.
Players to watch
Anthony Pilkington: Norwich will be desperate to have Pilkington available on Saturday after the winger was forced to withdraw from the Republic of Ireland squad this week through injury. Having plied his trade in the lower leagues with Stockport County and Huddersfield Town, it was seen as something as a gamble when he made a multi-million pound move to Carrow Road but he has already scored 12 Premier League goals since his summer arrival in 2011.
Robert Snodgrass: Another player who has made the step up from the lower leagues, Snodgrass is an attacking midfielder who can be a menace from dead-ball situations. Comfortable playing in the middle or out wide, the Scotland international has scored crucial equalising goals at White Hart Lane and St Mary’s this season, as well as what proved to be the winner in a 4-3 victory away to Swansea City.Sebastien Bassong: A highly-rated central defender who has also played Premier League football for Newcastle United and Spurs, Bassong has been a crucial player for the Canaries since joining at the start of the season. Strong in the tackle and dominant in the air, he has also popped up with vital goals against Everton, Sunderland and Swansea.