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Championship | Gameweek 35
Mar 2, 2024 at 3pm UK
Carrow Road

1 - 0

Sargent (81')
Giannoulis (76'), Sorensen (90')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Hume (44'), Ekwah (59'), Seelt (90+5')

Preview: Norwich City vs. Sunderland - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Championship clash between Norwich City and Sunderland, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Aiming to burst into the top six of the league standings, an in-form Norwich City will host stuttering Sunderland at Carrow Road on Saturday afternoon in the Championship.

The Canaries shared the spoils with Blackburn Rovers during their last match, while the Black Cats' struggles continued at home to Swansea City.

Match preview

Norwich City manager David Wagner before the match on January 28, 2024© Reuters

Extending their unbeaten run in the Championship to an impressive five matches last Saturday afternoon, Norwich earned a respectable point at the home of Blackburn, although it arguably should have been a third-straight victory for a Canaries side who are hunting down the playoff spots.

Producing a trademark free-kick goal, Chilean Marcelino Nunez curled a delightful effort past the outstretched Aynsley Pears to hand David Wagner's men a first-period advantage at Ewood Park, but Rovers were able to force a share of the spoils courtesy of Dominic Hyam's maiden league goal for the club since joining from Coventry City in August.

After collecting a commendable tally of 11 points from their last five Championship matches, Norwich are sitting right on the coattails of the top-six picture, currently lying in seventh place, just three points behind Liam Rosenior's Hull City in sixth heading into this weekend.

Since returning from an injury which kept him sidelined from late August until the end of 2023, Joshua Sargent is showing why the then-Premier League Canaries secured his services from Werder Bremen back in 2021, with the American scoring five times in his last five second-tier appearances.

Only Leeds United (43), Leicester City (40), Ipswich Town (40) and West Bromwich Albion (36) have earned more points from their respective home matches than Norwich in the Championship this term, with 35 of the East Anglians' 52 second-tier points arriving in front of their Carrow Road faithful.

Sunderland's Trai Hume and teammates applaud the fans after the match on January 13, 2024© Reuters

Sunderland's season is at a severe risk of stagnating completely following a three-game losing run against Huddersfield Town, Birmingham City and Swansea at the end of a largely-miserable February - a month in which Michael Beale's ill-fated spell at the Stadium of Light was cut short.

Interim head coach Mike Dodds was unable to rally his troops to a much-needed victory last weekend against Luke Williams' Swans, who managed to collect maximum points in the North-East courtesy of a first-half brace from January arrival Ronald Pereira, with the Brazilian replicating the iconic celebration of Cristiano Ronaldo after both strikes.

With the likes of Hull, Preston North End and Saturday's hosts Norwich beginning to hit their stride in the race for the top six, Sunderland have slipped down to 10th in the Championship table following a worrying trio of results, leaving them eight points behind the sixth-placed Tigers.

The Black Cats have only collected two points from their last five second-tier away matches, forcing a share of the spoils at both bottom side Rotherham United and Middlesbrough but also losing convincingly at Kieran McKenna's Ipswich, Tony Mowbray's Birmingham and managerless Huddersfield.

Looking at the positives for Sunderland ahead of this weekend's trip to East Anglia, the North-East club have a good recent record against Norwich, winning both of the clashes between the sides during 2023, including a 1-0 win at Carrow Road courtesy of an Abdoullah Ba goal last campaign.

Norwich City Championship form:

Norwich City form (all competitions):

Sunderland Championship form:

Team News

Newcastle United's Kieran Trippier in action with Sunderland's Jack Clarke on January 6, 2024© Reuters

Norwich have suffered a massive injury blow in the build-up to Saturday, with winger Onel Hernandez sidelined for the rest of the season due to a broken foot.

The Canaries are also without the services of Jonathan Rowe until April, as the attacker continues to recover from a serious hamstring injury.

Both goalscorer Nunez and centre-back Grant Hanley hobbled off during the closing stages of the Blackburn draw, and it remains to be seen whether either will feature this weekend.

Sunderland's playoff hopes have taken another seismic hit with news emerging that Jack Clarke will be out for up to six weeks because of ankle ligament damage.

Also playing a massive part in the Black Cats' top-six finish last season, Patrick Roberts is currently in the medical room recovering from a hamstring strain.

Dodds is unable to call on the services of first-choice full-back Niall Huggins, who is out for the remainder of the term because of a serious injury.

Norwich City possible starting lineup:
Gunn; Stacey, Hanley, Gibson, Giannoulis; Nunez, McLean, Fassnacht, Sara, Sainz; Sargent

Sunderland possible starting lineup:
Patterson; Seelt, O'Nien, Ballard; Hume, Ekwah, Neil, Styles; Bellingham, Ba, Rusyn

SM words green background

We say: Norwich City 3-1 Sunderland

Despite dropping two points at Blackburn last weekend, Norwich are still in brilliant form and should be confident of potentially breaking into the top six on Saturday.

Sunderland are in a real rut as they battle on without their star man Clarke and a permanent manager, so we are not expecting much from the Black Cats at Carrow Road.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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Sunderland's Jack Clarke celebrates scoring their first goal on September 2, 2023
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