Wigan Athletic-Norwich City Preview
By TOM BENNETT
STATS European Football Writer
(AP) -- LONDON (SE) - Norwich City will be looking to stretch their unbeaten Premier League run to 10 matches as they welcome Wigan Athletic to Carrow Road on Saturday afternoon.
The Canaries (5-7-4) are unbeaten in nine in the league (5-4-0) and have moved seven points clear of the relegation zone, but suffered a setback with a 4-1 League Cup quarter-final defeat to Aston Villa in midweek.
"It's a down changing room at the moment but we must not take away from what they've achieved over the last couple of months," said manager Chris Hughton after the cup exit. "It's my responsibility to make sure we get them back on track. We need to make sure we get rest and recovery over the next few days and come out fighting against a good Wigan side."
Visitors Wigan (4-3-9) have won just one of their last six games to slip into the bottom three. A string of injury problems have hurt the Latics' cause, but they remain one of five teams separated by just two points near the foot of the table, and midfielder James McArthur is confident of defeating the form book against Norwich this weekend.
"Norwich are playing really well right now," said McArthur. "They're a good few games undefeated so we know it's going to be a tough game. But we've beaten teams who have been in-form already. We beat Newcastle 4-0 (last season) when they were flying really so hopefully we can do that at Norwich.
"We got a decent result there (Carrow Road) last year so hopefully we can go and influence our style of play on the match and get the three points. We've got that confidence in our play right now. Hopefully we can take that to the match on Saturday where it's a massive game for us. We want to win it and push up the table."
Norwich have doubts over Wesley Hoolahan (groin) and Steven Whittaker (thigh), while Harry Kane (metatarsal) and John Ruddy (hip) are out. Wigan have concerns over Gary Caldwell (hamstring), Shaun Maloney (groin), Ivan Ramis (hamstring), Ryo Miyaichi (ankle), Albert Crusat (knee) and Antolin Alacaraz (groin), and Ben Watson is out for at least another two months with a broken leg.
The Canaries come into the game on the back of consecutive league wins and a third would be the first time they've managed that feat in the top flight since 1993. Hughton's side have failed to find the net in just one of their last 11 games - a scoreless draw with Reading - and have bagged six goals in their last two matches.
Norwich had only 11 in their first 14 games of the season.
Wigan have conceded 14 goals in their last six games and lost five of their seven matches on the road this season.
Both meetings between these teams ended 1-1 last season as Hoolahan scored for Norwich in both games.
Those two meetings were the first between the teams in the top flight of English football. Wigan have never won at Norwich and have just one victory in seven all-time meetings with the Canaries.
Updated December 13, 2012