Norwich vs Southampton preview: Ward-Prowse fit for visitors

Team news, stats and prediction ahead of Norwich vs Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday; kick-off 3pm.

Team news

New Norwich boss Dean Smith has no major injury headaches ahead of the clash against Southampton.

Sam Byram is set to make a major step forward in putting his injury nightmare behind him by playing for the U23s on Friday but the full-back, who has not played first-team football for 20 months, is still some way off a return.

Christoph Zimmermann remains out following ankle surgery last month, while fellow defender Grant Hanley has recently been struggling with a groin problem.

Norwich provisional squad: Krul, Aarons, Kabak, Gibson, Omobamidele, Dowell, Normann, McLean, Rashica, Pukki, Sargent, Rupp, Gilmour, Placheta, Tzolis, Lees-Melou, Williams, Gunn, Giannoulis, Idah.

James Ward-Prowse is fit for Southampton despite pulling out of England duty through illness.

Defender Tino Livramento and forward Armando Broja are also available, having missed their stints on international duty as well.

Defender Jack Stephens is the only absentee with a knee injury.

Southampton provisional squad: McCarthy, Walker-Peters, Livramento, Salisu, Bednarek, Romeu, Ward-Prowse, Redmond, Elyounoussi, Broja, Adams, Forster, Lyanco, Perraud, Valery, Adam Armstrong, Djenepo, Tella, Stuart Armstrong, Diallo, Long, Walcott.

How to follow

Follow Norwich vs Southampton in our dedicated live match blog. Highlights will also be published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel from 5.15pm on Saturday.

Last time out…

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Norwich’s win against Brentford

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Southampton’s win over Aston Villa

Jones Knows prediction

Like all three other managerial changes over the international break, this is an almost impossible one to weigh up in terms of predictions and betting angles. All we can use for an argument in this case at this time is gut instinct at whether he’ll get Norwich moving in the right direction. I’d be lukewarm on that.

Just from a personal perspective, surely Smith could have benefitted from a bit of time to refresh away from the stresses of management? Out of the frying pan into the fire, springs to mind as the job to get Norwich winning games with their current squad looks a tall order.

Meanwhile, in their last eight games, Southampton have only conceded six goals – a statistic backed up by their expected goals against data (8.43) which has them down as the fifth-best defence in that period. However, during that run, they have faced Manchester City, West Ham and Chelsea – three of the top four attacks in the Premier League. They have been impressive.

The theory that their strong base means just one goal is enough to win a game at the moment worked a charm for the prediction for the Villa game and I see no reason to change tact against a very limp Norwich attack.

SCORE PREDICTION: 0-1

BETTING ANGLE: Southampton to win to nil (5/2 with Sky Bet)

Opta stats

  • Norwich City have lost four of their last five Premier League matches against Southampton (W1), losing both games the last time they faced in 2019-20 (2-1 away, 0-3 at home).
  • Southampton have lost just two of their last 15 matches against Norwich in all competitions (W7 D6), winning their last three in a row; they last won four consecutively against the Canaries between 1956 and 1958.
  • Norwich City earned their first win in 21 Premier League games with victory at Brentford last time out. The Canaries last won back-to-back top-flight matches in April 2016.
  • Norwich are winless in their last 10 Premier League home games (D1 L9), netting just three goals in this run. It’s the Canaries longest ever run without a top-flight victory at Carrow Road.
  • Southampton have won three of their last four Premier League games (D1), as many as they had in their previous 18 in the competition (D5 L10). Saints are looking to secure three consecutive league wins for the first time since November 2020, a run which briefly took them to the top of the table.
  • While Norwich have conceded a league-high 17 second half goals in the Premier League this season, no side has shipped a higher share of their goals after half-time in the competition this term than Southampton (83% – 10/12).
  • Dean Smith will take charge of his first Premier League game for Norwich, while his last game in charge at Aston Villa was also against Southampton. He’ll be the first manager to face an opponent in consecutive Premier League games in the same season, but with different clubs.

Premier League Preview – Souness on ‘angry’ Liverpool’s point to prove vs Arsenal | Delph’s impressive return |Kane’s confidence boost

Peter Smith is joined by Sky Sports pundit Graeme Souness, and football writers Oliver Yew and Ben Grounds to look ahead to the Premier League weekend.

PART 1 | How will Liverpool respond after their first defeat of the season? Graeme Souness explains why they’ll be ‘full throttle’ against an Arsenal side who, he feels, are still a long way off, despite their recent unbeaten run

PART 2 | Oliver Yew and Ben Grounds look at the contrasting impacts of Jack Grealish and Gabriel Jesus this season, and discuss Fabien Delph’s surprise return to form with Everton, ahead of his side’s trip to a club he won two Premier League titles with

PART 3 | Harry Kane scored seven goals in two games during the international break but will that translate to the Premier League? We talk Tottenham ahead of Antonio Conte’s first home league game in charge, and explain the reasons behind Leeds’ slow start.

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