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Match Preview: Norwich v Sunderland — Everything you need to know before kick-off!

After last week’s debacle, Sunderland travel to East Anglia to take on Norwich City – and while the lads are struggling at present, the Canaries are beginning to soar.

Photo by Michael Driver/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Sunday 12th March 2023

(6th) Norwich v Sunderland (11th)


Carrow Road, Norwich, Kick-off 12pm

Tickets & Match Coverage

Tickets: Tickets are sold out for Sunderland supporters, with 1800 lads fans travelling to Norwich.

TV/Stream: The game will be shown live on Sky Sports.

Radio: Full live match commentary available via BBC Radio Newcastle (not online)

Don’t forget to follow the blow-by-blow account of the game on the Roker Report Twitter feed (@RokerReport) and check out the player ratings after the full-time whistle at!

The build-up

If a week’s a long time in politics, a month is an eternity in football. Less than four weeks ago, we were on a high after comprehensively putting away QPR at Loftus Road; the play offs were looking a distinct possibility and we were looking up, rather than down.

The four games that have followed have sucked much of that optimism. From the moment we conceded that last minute penalty to Bristol City, we’ve spiralled out of control. We’ve looked devoid of confidence and ideas in defeats to Rotherham and Coventry, while Saturday’s fixture at home to Stoke was an absolute disaster – and everyone who was involved in that, from the manager to the players, should hang their heads in shame.

That Stoke defeat made it our worst run of form for a year – until Alex Neil took charge, ironically enough.

Still, another week, another game, and a trip to Carrow Road beckons. The in-form Canaries will be fancying their chances – David Wagner’s overseen an upturn in fortunes since replacing Dean Smith, and their promotion charge is well and truly back on track.

However, this could be the type of game that suits Sunderland more than a home game in which the onus is on us to attack. We’re better playing on the break, and Norwich will naturally come at us. Wishful thinking? Maybe. But we’ve not turned into a bad side overnight – and we can certainly cause Norwich problems.

Norwich City v Birmingham City - Sky Bet Championship
Wagner’s enjoying a turnaround in results
Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images

Form guide

Norwich are looking to make it four league wins in a row today – they beat Millwall 3-2 at The Den last time out, and recorded home wins over Birmingham and Cardiff. too. Norwich, however, are stronger on their travels – at home, they’ve only won three and drawn two of their last 10, so we certainly have a chance.

Last five games: Norwich W4 D1 L0, Sunderland W1 D1 L3

The opposition view

In the build up to the game, Norwich boss David Wagner told

[Sunderland are] a very good footballing team, like to dominate the ball, they play good technical football. They have a young squad, a lot of energy. Before the last three games, they were challenging and in the top six.

We won’t look at their recent results, we know they have a good team.

We need to make a special atmosphere. Everybody needs to know and feel that we have a chance to make it four wins in a row.

Team news

Norwich: US international Josh Sargent, who scored the winner when the two sides met at the Stadium of Light earlier in the season, is expected to be fit after being absent due to injury, while Gabriel Sara is fit after missing training earlier in the week through illness.

Sunderland: Tony Mowbray revealed Aji Alese will miss the rest of the season through injury, joining Ross Stewart and Corry Evans on the sidelines for the rest of the campaign. Dennis Cirkin will also miss the game as he struggles to get back after his Millwall concussion, but Lynden Gooch is back in training and will likely return to the squad.

Sunderland v Middlesbrough - Sky Bet Championship
Back in the squad?
Photo by Michael Driver/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The betting...

Norwich are firm favourites to win the clash at 17/20, with a Sunderland win rated at 13/4 and a draw 5/2.

A 1-0 home win is the favoured scoreline at 6/1, while if you fancy the lads to repeat the 3-1 win we enjoyed in our last trip to Carrow Road, you’ll get a nice 40-1.

Head to head... at Norwich

(All competitions)

  • Games played: 32
  • Sunderland wins: 7
  • Draws: 8
  • Norwich City wins: 17
  • Sunderland goals: 34
  • Norwich City goals: 50

Last time we met... at Carrow Road

Sunday 13th August 2017

Championship League

Norwich 1-3 Sunderland

[Grabban OG 78’ - Grabban 27’, 71’, McGeady 60’]

Norwich: Gunn, Wildschut (Murphy 61), Husband, Franke, Martin, Zimmermann, Maddison, Reed, Jerome (Oliveira 68), Watkins, Naismith (Hoolahan 77). Substitutes not used: McGovern, Pinto, Tettey, Vrancic.

Sunderland: Steele, Jones, Galloway, Cattermole (Gibson 74), Browning, Kone, Honeyman, Ndong, Vaughan, Grabban (O’Shea 87), McGeady (Gooch 84) Substitutes not used: Ruiter, Matthews, Khazri, Asoro.

Attendance: 26,343

Norwich City v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Played for both...

Gary Rowell

After 10 years at Sunderland, 27 year old Gary Rowell was released by Len Ashurst as part of a rebuild, joining Norwich City in the summer of 1984. Unfortunately, Rowell picked up a knee injury in a pre-season tour, which limited him to just six appearances for the Canaries. Spells at Middlesbrough, Brighton and Burnley followed, but in the six seasons from leaving Roker in 1984 to retiring in 1990, he made only 72 appearances.

Carlos Cuellar

31-year-old Carlos Cuellar signed for Sunderland after four seasons at Aston Villa, rejoining his former Villa manager Martin O’Neill at the Stadium of Light. Cuellar spent two years at Sunderland, playing 33 games, scoring once, in a 3-1 win at Fulham. After his contract expired at Sunderland, he joined Norwich and played ten games as the club secured a return to the Premier League, before finishing his career with a tour of Israel – playing for four clubs in three years before retiring from the game.

Soccer - Sky Bet Championship - Nottingham Forest v Norwich City - City Ground

Bali Mumba

Famously handed the captain’s armband as he made his debut for Sunderland as a 17 year old – in a symbol of hope for the future at the end of a disastrous season – Bali Mumba started the following season in the first team in the centre of midfield but soon lost his place to Lee Cattermole. Inexplicably sold to Norwich in 2020, Mumba’s since been converted to a full back, and has made five appearances for Norwich, making his debut for the club in a Premier League clash against Manchester City. Bali played for Peterbrough on loan last season in the Championship, and has spent this campaign at Plymouth, where he’s currently starring alongside Jay Matete.

Norwich City v AFC Bournemouth - Carabao Cup Second Round Photo by Robin Jones - AFC Bournemouth/AFC Bournemouth via Getty Images


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