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Premier League preview: Norwich v Wigan

Norwich will be looking to return to winning ways when they host struggling Wigan at Carrow Road on Saturday.

Fresh from a dramatic 4-3 victory over Swansea last weekend, in-form Norwich were expected to easily account for the out-of-sorts Aston Villa in Tuesday’s League Cup fixture.

But the Canaries did not account for a Villa outfit inspired by Australian midfielder Brett Holman – who scored 75 seconds into the encounter – as former Norwich manager Paul Lambert saw his team produce a resounding 4-1 victory.

The result was Norwich’s first loss in 10 matches across all competitions, a run that saw them defeat big names like Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United.

But they have a good chance to return to the winners’ list when they host an injury-plagued Wigan.

On top of an already crowded injury list, Roberto Martinez’s Wigan side suffered another blow on Tuesday as news emerged that captain Gary Caldwell probably would not be available until Boxing Day as he recovers from a hamstring injury.

“Caldwell is still in week one of a three-week recovery period,” Martinez told the club’s website.

“It will be between two or three weeks but he has recovered well and in the last couple of days he has been progressing.”

Central defender Antolin Alcaraz is also unavailable with a groin injury although Martinez may be able to call on the services of Ivan Ramis, who is a 50-50 proposition with a hamstring problem.

Wigan were fortunate to draw with Queens Park Rangers last weekend, as James McCarthy’s second goal for the game saw his side share the points against the competition’s worst team.

Wigan are not doing much better than QPR, however, sitting in 18th on the Premier League table, having won just twice in the last seven games.

But in a very crowded table, Wigan still have 15 points and, remarkably, are only 11 points adrift of fourth-placed Everton.

With Wigan having spent much of their existence in the lower leagues before Dave Whelan’s takeover of the club, this will be just the fourth time these two sides have faced each other in a league competition.

The teams played twice last season for two 1-1 draws, and the only victory from the fixture was a 2-0 win for Norwich in the Championship when they faced off in 2003-04.

Thu 13 December, 2012
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