Wednesday, April 25, 2018

West Brom v Norwich City: Bamford vows to hit the goal trail in survival bid

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 17 Mar 2016


Patrick Bamford is confident he can score the goals to fire Norwich City to Premier League safety as Alex Neil’s men prepare for a crunch match at West Brom on Saturday.

Bamford has yet to score since moving to Carrow Road on loan from Chelsea in January, but looked lively on his first start for the club in last weekend’s goalless draw with Manchester City.

It was only the 22-year-old’s third start in all competitions this season following a frustrating spell at Crystal Palace in the first half of the campaign.

And Bamford is optimistic that given a run of games he will find some form to help Norwich, who are 18th, avoid an immediate return to the Championship.

“If you don’t play and then you don’t take your chances because you’re not sharp, then you’re not going to play again,” he told the Eastern Daily Press. 

“So you need that run of games to get that sharpness back – and then the goals will start coming again, I’m sure.

“No-one wants to get relegated and there is that drive to not let it happen, and everyone in the team is heading towards that.”

Alex Neil’s men have been on an alarming run of form in the top flight, taking just two points from their past 10 matches.

Norwich can take confidence from their performance last time out, but they travel to The Hawthorns to face a West Brom side that have been resurgent in recent weeks.

The Baggies won October’s reverse fixture 1-0 and have been victorious in three of their past four league matches including a 1-0 win at home to Manchester United last time out.

West Brom have subsequently allayed any fears of being embroiled in a battle to avoid the drop and need just 11 points from nine matches to beat their best Premier League tally of 49.

And Jonny Evans, who hopes to return from a month long lay-off with a hamstring injury, has set West Brom the challenge of breaking new ground.

“We have nine games left and we want to finish top ten, that is the aim,” he told the Express and Star.

“The highest points tally this club has in the Premier League is 49 and it would be nice to get to a stage where we can beat that record.”

Gareth McAuley will become West Brom’s oldest outfield player in the Premier League era at 36 years and 105 days if he is selected, but captain Chris Brunt (knee) and James Morrison (hamstring) are long-term absentees.

Nathan Redmond (ankle) hobbled out of Norwich’s draw with Manchester City and is set to miss out.


Key Opta stats:

– The last three Premier League meetings between the Baggies and the Canaries have seen wins for the away team and the home team failing to score.
– West Brom and Norwich have already met twice this season, with West Brom winning the league match (1-0) and Norwich triumphing in the Capital One Cup (3-0).
– Tony Pulis’ side have lost just one of their last seven Premier League matches (W3 D3 L1).
– The Baggies are unbeaten in their last six top flight matches at The Hawthorns (W4 D2).
– Norwich are on their worst run in the Premier League (10 games without a win) within a single season since November 2004 (13 games).


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