A classic relegation six-pointer kicks off this weekend’s Premier League action, with Norwich knowing they could save themselves and all but relegate Sunderland with a win at Carrow Road.
The hosts saw a two-match winning run come to an end at Crystal Palace last weekend, a result which left them four points above their visitors this weekend, who occupy the final relegation spot.
Alex Neil’s side are aiming to win consecutive home games for only the second time this season having beaten fellow relegation rivals Newcastle 3-2 in a thriller in their last outing in front of their own fans.
The Canaries also have a strong record in this fixture; they haven’t lost at home to Sunderland since 1985 and are unbeaten in the Premier League against the Black Cats since 2012.
Sunderland make the long journey to Norfolk without a win in six matches and with only one victory to show from their last 11 outings.
Their away record also does little to inspire confidence; the Wearside outfit have picked up just two victories on the road this season, whilst boss Sam Allardyce has never won an away fixture at Norwich.
Allardyce’s teams are usually renowned for a strong defence, but Sunderland have kept fewer clean sheets than anyone else in the Premier League this season having prevented the opposition from scoring on just four occasions; the back four will need to improve quickly if the club are to preserve their top-flight status.
Defender Timm Klose – who scored the opener against Newcastle United a fortnight ago – is set to miss out for the hosts after picking up a knock against Palace, with Sebastien Bassong expected to replace the German in the back four.
Sunderland have a fully fit squad to choose from, with young prospect Duncan Watmore available for selection for the first time since February.
League Positions: Norwich – 17th (31 pts); Sunderland – 18th (27 pts)
Previous Meeting: Sunderland 1-3 Norwich – August 15, 2015
Form: Norwich – LLDWWL; Sunderland – LDDDDL
Key Players: Norwich – Robbie Brady; Sunderland – Jermain Defoe
Shoot Says: Norwich 1-1 Sunderland