Norwich perspective: Matt, Holtamania.
The only injury worries remain Butterfield, Fox and Whittaker. The first two appear to be back in training, but this match may be a bit too soon. The team which performed so strongly against QPR and Spurs - and deserved more than the two points they got - is likely to start again.
After the opening game I thought we’d be in for a long hard season, but recently we’ve looked more like a team Hughton built rather than inherited. If any area needs to improve then it’s up front; we’re creating more than enough chances, but our finishing has been lacking. It would be an ideal time for Grant Holt to start paying back that nice new contract we slung his way this summer. Other than that we’re looking strong and the back four are beginning to gel. With Carroll out I feel we’ll have more than enough to counter their physical style.
It’s been a few years since we played West Ham or an Allardyce side, so it’s hard to judge how we’ll match up. If we can get someone sent off like we once did Matthew Etherington, though, it’ll be a fun afternoon. I fancy our chances against Jaskalainen, one of the most overrated keepers around.
Norwich to win without conceding at 4.00. I think we’re looking settled at the back since Garrido and Bassong came in and I don’t fancy West Ham to score.
Norwich DNB at 1.64. Short odds here but our last couple of matches have been close draws we should have won. If form holds, and we make chances but fail to take them, you’ll at least get your money back.
Holt to score first at 6.50. I fancy him to get off the mark this weekend in the sort of physical battle he relishes. He’ll have a point to prove to West Ham fans who may get on his back after his rumoured transfer there in the summer.
Score prediction: Norwich 2-0 West Ham (12.50)
West Ham perspective: Preview Percy, Knees Up Mother Brown.
Reports suggest that bar Andy Carroll - who may be out for two weeks or six - Big Sam should have a fairly full deck to play from this week.
There is, of course, a temptation to look at the fact that Fulham (somehow) stuck five past Norwich and look at the way we demolished the Cottagers last time out in order to come to a conclusion. Football, of course, doesn’t work like that.
Fulham’s record away from Craven Cottage is traditionally awful. In fact, I reckon that if our return fixture with them were moved to that park next door to their ground we’d be guaranteed three points. Not to mention a quicker walk from the place where the boat docks.
It’s been a stuttering start for Norwich, though our one voyage away from the Boleyn Ground thus far didn’t exactly raise the spirits, it’s difficult to see quite so many players having quite so many nightmares all at once. Plus, Swansea was abroad - and foreign travel is always tricky. So I am upbeat about our chances of registering a first away win of the season.
We haven't faced Norwich in the league since 2003/04, when both of our matches ended all-square. Our last game against them, in the FA Cup in 2006, saw us win 2-1 at the Hawthorns. I can foresee a repeat of that scoreline on Saturday
Both teams to score at 1.62. I don't think this will be a day for clean sheets, with both teams looking for the victory.
West Ham win at 3.00. Given our performance against Fulham, the 3.00 available on the away win looks tempting.
Draw/West Ham HT/FT at 7.75. If we can stay in the game until the interval, I think our quality will tell in the second half.
Score prediction: Norwich 1-2 West Ham (12.50)