After throwing a monkey wrench into Manchester City's title aspirations, Norwich City try to further move away from the relegation scrap Tuesday when they travel to Upton Park to face a West Ham United squad equally needy for points.
The Canaries (6-7-12) are 16th in the table, two points outside the top three, but come off a heroic scoreless draw versus the Citizens on Saturday. Chris Hughton's side didn't have much of the ball with 33 percent possession and conceded 14 corners, but Norwich also limited City to two shots on goal among their 15.
"You have to be happy with the point," Hughton told the team's official website. Firstly, you're looking at the result, which is important, but you're also looking for a performance, and I think there was so much good to our performance today.
"We're getting things right defensively, but we've got to be scoring more goals."
Goals, though, have been hard to come by on the road for the Canaries. They've been outscored 26-8 there while getting just two wins and two draws in 12 matches and have led for only five minutes while going 0-2-2 in their last four outside Norwich.
Striker Robert Snodgrass is racing the clock to be match fit, as are Ryan Bennett and Jonas Gutierrez after the trio missed Saturday's draw.
"It's one that I probably could have taken a risk with, but there was today's game and then there are 13 more games afterwards," said Hughton about Snodgrass, who has a groin injury. "As important as (Saturday's) game was, I needed to make sure that he's right for them."
West Ham (6-7-12) are ahead of Norwich on goal differential in 15th, but Sam Allardyce's side are enjoying their best stretch of the season with two wins and a draw in their last three matches. The Hammers posted their second straight 2-0 victory Saturday with Kevin Nolan bagging a quick brace in the opening three minutes of the second half as they played the first of three matches without suspended forward Andy Carroll.
"It's the first time we've got back to back wins since we've been back in the Premier League and we're delighted because it's been a tough old season with all the injuries and suspensions," Carroll said. "When we've got everyone fit and when we've got everyone playing we're going to get results everywhere.
"If I can keep chipping away and get a few more goals than hopefully that'll be a little way of paying back the stupidity that I suffered over the last month."
Hammers have posted 12 shutouts in their 25 matches and four in their last five, but they have been hit or miss on their own patch on defence. They are 3-2-1 when giving up zero or one goals and 0-1-5 when giving up two or more.
"The whole team is defending well," goalkeeper Adrian said. "Every player is doing his job and this is important. If you have a good defence, then you have chances to win the game and we're doing that."
Norwich overcame an early goal by Ravel Morrison in a 3-1 victory in the reverse fixture in November. Snodgrass potted the go-ahead goal in the 72nd minute after Gary Hooper converted from the spot early in the second half for the equaliser. Leroy Fer added a third for the Canaries in stoppage time.
- Sports & Recreation
- Chris Hughton
- Manchester City
- West Ham United
- Norwich City
- Robert Snodgrass