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Premier League: Norwich City v Newcastle

Norwich City will aim to halt a run of four Premier League defeats when they host Newcastle at Carrow Road on Saturday.

Likewise, Alan Pardew’s men have suffered seven successive defeats away from St James’ Park, meaning the clash is vitally important for both clubs.

One player determined to arrest Norwich’s recent winless run is winger Elliott Bennet.

“We’ve lost the last four but I don’t think we’ve played badly,” Bennett told the Norwich Evening News.

Skipper Grant Holt is likely to be restored to the starting line-up if he can shrug off the hamstring injury that restricted him over the Christmas period.

However, manager Chris Hughton could be tempted to stick with Simeon Jackson up front after the Canadian’s predatory finish in the 3-0 FA Cup third-round win over Peterborough.

Bennett believes there is enough quality in the squad to fill any potential void left by the skipper.

“We’ve got players that are chomping at the bit to get in and I’m sure they will do themselves justice,” he said.

Meanwhile, Newcastle’s faithful fans are beginning to forget what an away win is.

Their last victory in any competition away from home came last season when Papiss Cisse’s double strike sealed a 2-0 win at Chelsea.

Newcastle won eight times away last season but if the Tynesiders fail to beat Norwich it will be 18 away days in all competitions since they last tasted that success at Stamford Bridge eight months ago.

Pardew hopes to hand new signing Mathieu Debuchy his debut but injuries to James Perch and Steven Taylor mean they are almost certain to miss.

But skipper Fabricio Coloccini is looking to return after shaking off a leg knock.

One of the Newcastle success stories has been Italian international full-back Davide Santon, who has pledged his loyalty to the club as they battle relegation.

With players to return from injury and less daunting fixtures to come, Santon said there is light at the end of the tunnel.

“Last year we were challenging. But we still have a good team and we have to try to finish as high as we can,” he said.

Thu 10 January, 2013
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