Premier League Preview: Norwich v Southampton
By Football News
Southampton travel to Carrow Road on Saturday aiming to maintain their unbeaten start to the Premier League season against Norwich.
Mauricio Pochettino's men followed up their opening-day win over West Brom with a draw against Sunderland at St Mary' last time out, and go into this game having conceded just two goals in their last six away games in the top flight.
However, they will not have an easy task against Chris Hughton's side, who have won 32 of the 45 points they have collected since returning to the Premier League at home.
Four of the last six Premier League meetings between the two sides have ended as draws, and Southampton keeper Artur Boruc saved a last-minute penalty to deny Norwich all three points on home soil last season.
And Pochettino is expecting another challenging encounter this time around.
"The last time we played Norwich, they were one of the hardest teams we faced away from home," the Argentinian said.
"It’s going to be a complicated game away in their stadium. They have reinforced their squad very well, so we’re expecting a very tough game against them.
"They’re physically a very strong side and a very quick side. They go on the counter-attack very quickly as well which is one of their main strengths.
"They’re very well organised, and they know exactly what they need to do in every single moment of the game, so overall they’re a very tough side playing against them away from home."
Goals should not be a problem in the game if the records books are anything to go by, as Norwich's last five home fixtures in the Premier League have produced 18 goals.
One man who will be hoping to get on the scoresheet for the first time in English football is Southampton's new club-record signing Pablo Daniel Osvaldo, who is in line to make his first start for the club.
Morgan Schneiderlin is a doubt for the visitors after coming off at half time against Sunderland due to a knock, while full-back Luke Shaw (knee) may not be risked by Pochettino.
Meanwhile, Gary Hooper continues to be sidelined for Norwich. The ex-Celtic striker has been struggling with a shin injury and Hughton does not expect him to be available until after the forthcoming international break.
Elliott Bennett (knee) is the only other player out of contention for Norwich though, after Anthony Pilkington made a goalscoring return from his knee problem in Wednesday's 6-3 victory over Bury in the League Cup.