Two promoted sides who sit precariously above the drop zone meet in a crunch clash on the South Coast this weekend, with both looking to put some distance between themselves and the bottom three.
Bournemouth were blown away by some West Ham wonder-goals as they slipped to a 3-1 defeat on Tuesday evening, with new £10 million man Benik Afobe struggling in front of goal on his debut.
The Cherries have also re-signed Lewis Grabban from this weekend’s opponents, and the frontman could start as he looks to get one over his old club after what seemed a less than amicable parting of ways.
After an impressive run of three successive wins prior to Christmas, Eddie Howe’s side haven’t won since tucking into their turkey; the young manager needs his team to put that right or risk slipping further into danger.
Norwich saw their impressive mini-run come to a juddering halt at Stoke in midweek; Gary O’Neil’s brainless sending off with the game evenly balanced came back to haunt the Canaries in their 3-1 defeat.
Only Sunderland have conceded more goals on their travels than Alex Neil’s men this season, and they are the only side yet to keep an away clean sheet; they will need to tighten up if they are to avoid another defeat on the road this weekend.
City have been heavily linked with Utrecht striker Sebastien Haller as they look to replace Grabban up front, and they could certainly do with the firepower; their top scorers are Jonny Howson and Nathan Redmond with just four goals each.
Cherries winger Matt Ritchie is rated as 50/50 as he battles a dead leg, with Roma loanee Juan Iturbe on standby to make his full debut should Ritchie miss out.
O’Neil begins his three-match suspension for the visitors, who have no fresh injury concerns. Full back Ivo Pinto will miss out as he continues to adjust following his move from Dinamo Zagreb.
League Position: Bournemouth – 16th (21 pts); Norwich – 15th (23 pts)
Last Meeting: Norwich 3-1 Bournemouth (September 12, 2015)
Form: Bournemouth – WWDLDL; Norwich – DWLWWL
Key Players: Bournemouth – Harry Arter; Norwich – Jonny Howson
Shoot Says: Bournemouth 2-0 Norwich