Norwich City-Cardiff City Preview
By TOM BENNETT
STATS European Football Writer
(AP) -- Bottom-of-the-table Cardiff City will be looking to arrest their slide as they welcome Norwich City to the Welsh capital on Saturday.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Cardiff (4-6-13) have lost four league games on the bounce to slip to the foot of the Premier League table, but have had to play Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United during that run. Despite a 2-0 defeat to the Cardiff manager's old club - Manchester United - on Tuesday, Solskjaer believes he has seen enough in the defeats to the league's big teams to suggest the Bluebirds will pull themselves out of relegation trouble.
"These lads never capitulate. They never give up and have a great attitude. Their work-rate in training is fantastic. We're now a month into it, having seen each other and being able to learn from each other. Now we have next month, which is going to be a great month for us, hopefully.
"We probably need another eighteen points, taking us to thirty six to stay up, so we have to target our home games," added the Cardiff boss in the aftermath of the Old Trafford defeat. "We need points. Today we've come away with a good performance, but we've got nothing for it."
Norwich (6-6-11) are also in the relegation scrap, just five points clear of the bottom three, but a win over Hull City and a draw with Newcastle United in their last two games have helped Chris Hughton's side pull clear of immediate danger.
The Canaries' slow start to the season has led to suggestions that big-name summer signing Ricky van Wolfswinkel is unhappy at the club, but the Norwich manager moved quickly to deny that.
"If people think he is homesick or he hasn`t settled you couldn`t be further from the truth," Hughton said. "There is no doubt Ricky would not have got the goals he would have liked to. It is frustrating for him because he somebody who is used to scoring goals. It becomes a question of confidence and once he gets the first the others will come quickly. He is a striker and they are used to these periods.
"I don`t think I need to give any message to other clubs. He is someone we signed on a long term deal in the summer and he is an integral part here."
Cardiff have injury doubts over Jordan Mutch (knock), Mark Hudson (knock) and Andrew Taylor (ankle), while Norwich are without Michael Turner (hamstring ), Jonny Howson (back) and Elliott Bennett (knee).
It was a goalless draw between these teams at Carrow Road in October despite Norwich dominating possession and attempting a season-high 31 shots on goal. The last two meetings between these teams have been draws, but the Welsh side won the last contest at the Cardiff City Stadium, with Peter Wittingham scoring a penalty in a 3-1 Championship win.
Updated January 30, 2014