Everton v Norwich preview & team news

Updated: December 16, 2011

Everton will entertain Norwich City on Saturday in their midtable clash at Goodison Park, with both teams looking to start a run of good results going into the busy Christmas schedule; kick-off is at 3pm.

The home team are coming into the game on the back of two straight 1-0 defeats at the hands of Arsenal and Stoke City; the latter was a disappointing home loss for David Moyes’ side.

It’s not the best time to play Norwich, as Paul Lambert’s side have put an end to a stretch of results that saw them pick up just one win in six after beating high-flying Newcastle United 4-2 at Carrow Road last weekend.

The Canaries were well worth the win against the Magpies after a brace from Grant Holt and goals from Steve Morison and Wes Hoolahan helped Norwich secure all three points against 10 men, following the sending off of Newcastle’s Dan Gosling.

The win against Newcastle was Norwich’s second consecutive home victory and they will be hoping their home form can rub off on their away results with their trip to Goodison.

Everton’s home form hasn’t been good this season, as the Toffees have picked up only six points at Goodison and their last win in front of their home crowd happened nearly a month ago in a 2-1 victory over a struggling Wolves side.

Norwich are not exactly the best away side however, and the Canaries have only won once on the road this season against Bolton Wanderers back in September; a draw at 3.95 looks tempting on Betfair.com.

Jack Rodwell, Leon Osman and summer signing Royston Drenthe could all return to the Everton team after missing last week’s trip to the Emirates after hamstring injuries for Rodwell and Osman, and a foot injury to Drenthe kept the trio out.

The return of Osman and Drenthe will strengthen Everton’s attack, which has been weak this season; only Wigan and West Brom have scored less than David Moyes’ side in the league.

Sylvain Distin made an appearance against Arsenal as a second half substitute after having been out with an injury for the previous month, and the big French defender could feature against Norwich.

Norwich have no fresh injury worries but they are without long term injury concerns Ritchie De Laet and former Everton striker James Vaughan; the pair may be fit in the new year.

Everton squad: Howard, Hibbert, Heitinga, Jagielka, Baines, Rodwell, Bilyaletdinov, Neville, Cahill, Fellaini, Coleman, Saha, Distin, Drenthe, Osman, McAleny, Barkley, Osman, Gueye, Mucha, Stracqualursi.

Norwich squad: Ruddy, Tierney, Whitbread, Martin, Naughton, Crofts, Johnson, Pilkington, Bennett, Hoolahan, Morison, Rudd, Barnett, Fox, Holt, Surman, Wilbraham, Jackson.

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