Norwich City-Liverpool Preview
By RYAN WILLOX
STATS Football Writer
(AP) -- LONDON (SE) -- Norwich City will have to find some way to neutralise Luis Suarez if they are to secure their first league win since mid-December when they visit Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday.
It is a dilemma that vexes most Premier League defences, but the Canaries more than most - the Uruguayan striker has stung them for six goals in his last two outings against them. Suarez is second only to Robin Van Persie in the scoring charts this season and leads the Premier League in total shots (117) and shots on target (41).
The Canaries (6-8-8) recorded their sixth clean sheet of the Premier League season in their 0-0 draw with Newcastle last weekend. It ended a run of four consecutive defeats on the heels of a 10-match unbeaten run, and defender Michael Turner believes that performance will give them a boost into the games ahead.
"We defended well as a team, and we felt comfortable about keeping them out, it was just about finding that breakthrough," he told the club website after the Newcastle match. "It's always nice as a defender to keep a clean sheet and in the unbeaten run we had we kept a few, and it's nice to get back to that.
"If you keep clean sheets you'll always get something from the game, and we'll take something from that and build on it on the training ground this week."
Liverpool (8-7-7) lost 2-1 to Manchester United in their last outing but dominated much of the final 30 minutes against the league leaders. Midfielder Stewart Downing believes his side has to reproduce that form on a more regular basis.
"For us it's a case of consistency. Man United have a habit of still winning even when they don't play well like on Sunday. In the second half they struggled but still won the game. That's something we can learn from.
"We need to be hard to beat when we're not at our best. When we do play well we hammer teams but when we don't play well we don't seem to get results."
Downing also wants an end to Liverpool's "hard-luck" stories, adding, "There is no point coming off saying we played really well but didn't pick up any points. The big thing we've got to take from the game is that we've got to start matches like the way we played in the second half."
Anfield is at last becoming something resembling the fortress it once was. Liverpool have won four of their last five matches there, keeping clean sheets in all four victories. In all, Liverpool have posted six shutouts in their last eight home matches in the Premier League.
Liverpool have recorded convincing wins in their last two matches against the Canaries, with Suarez bagging hat tricks in 3-0 and 5-2 victories. Nuri Sahin also scored for the Reds and Leon Barnett provided an own goal in that 5-2 victory in September while Steve Morison and Grant Holt tallied for Norwich.
Liverpool hit just five shots on target in the match, scoring on four of them.
However, the corresponding fixture between the sides at Anfield last season finished 1-1, with Holt equalising after Craig Bellamy had fired Liverpool in front.
Norwich have not won at Anfield since 1994, but have only played there three times since and are a respectable 2-3-5 overall in their last 10 visits.
Norwich have managed just one away win this season, 4-3 at Swansea City, and their eight road points put them 16th in the league.
The Canaries have hit just five shots on target in their last two away matches combined.
Updated January 16, 2013