Norwich

Norwich face West Brom as Lambert and Hodgson seek first win

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You probably would have got very long odds on this game being a Premier League fixture this season, back in May 2009. Not only had West Brom been relegated from the top flight, but Norwich had been banished to the third tier of English football for the first time in well over a century.

But as West Brom were living up to the bounce-back, yo-yo reputation the following season, Paul Lambert was plotting the beginning of a dynasty in deepest, darkest Norfolk, that would see one of the greatest turnarounds in fortune, in recent footballing history.

The Baggies are just one step of their hosts this Sunday, as under Roy Hodgson they are not far from finally establishing themselves as a Premier League regular. This season will be a test of their credentials. Can they push on from the last campaign? Or will it be second season heartbreak once again?

Norwich, meanwhile, are just happy to be back in the ‘promised land’, but will have their work cut out to stay there, as one of the relegation favourites.

Neither side has managed to get their first win of the season yet – although that might sound a little bit harsh on West Brom, who have so far faced Manchester United, Chelsea and Stoke, with nothing to show for their efforts.

Norwich do at least have two points on the board – they might have been disappointed to only manage a draw against Wigan, but the point they managed to pick up against Stoke will have been a massive boost. There was no shame in their defeat to Chelsea, either.

Head-to-head, West Brom have the upper hand in this fixture, winning 21, drawing 15 and losing 15 in all competitions. They have even won the last three games between the two sides, and did the double over the Canaries during the 2007/08 season.

Both sides will be hungry to open their account for the season in this one, and will both see this as an eminently winnable match. It is hard to say who will come out on top, but one thing is true; there will be a rowdy atmosphere from the Norwich clan, as they come out of the tunnel at Carrow Road.

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