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Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl
Free soccer tips, best bets and analysis for Southampton v Norwich in the Premier League on Friday.
where to watch
Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event, 8 p.m. Friday
Southampton win and under 3.5 goals
2pts 13-10 Coral, Ladbrokes
Stuart Armstrong will score anytime
1pt 9-2 general
Lyanco, Alex McCarthy and Nathan Tella are ruled out and there are doubts over Romain Perraud and Nathan Redmond.
The Canaries are expected to miss Lukas Rupp, Adam Idah, Tim Krul, Jacob Sorensen and Andrew Omobamidele.
Dean Smith has had mixed fortunes against Southampton in the Premier League this season and his Norwich side could find themselves outclassed on a difficult trip to St Mary’s on Friday.
Smith’s final visit to the pitch, on 5 November, proved to be his last game as Aston Villa manager as a 1–0 defeat, Villa’s fifth in a row, cost him his job.
A few weeks later, however, he got the better of Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Saints in his first game as Norwich boss as Grant Hanley’s 79th-minute header handed the Canaries a 2-1 victory at Carrow Road.
That debut proved to be something of a false dawn and, despite some improved performance, Norwich come bottom of the south coast table and five points from safety.
They briefly threatened to pull off a glorious act of giant killing at Anfield last weekend, taking the lead against Liverpool early in the second half before slipping to a 3-1 defeat.
Remarkably, the defeat at Anfield and the home win against Southampton were the only two of Norwich’s 13 games against the current top ten in which they found the net.
They have lost nine of the other 11, drawing 0-0 at home to Wolves and Brighton, and they could struggle against a Saints side who look well-deserved of their place in the top half.
Hasenhuttl’s men have lost just one of their 12 home league games this season and their first three outings at St Mary’s in 2022 have yielded a 4-1 win over Brentford, a 1-1 draw with the champions Manchester City and a 2-0 win. against Everton last weekend.
The win featured Southampton’s first clean sheet since the 1-0 win over Smith’s Villa in the first week of November and they should be imagining their chances of another clean sheet against Norwich, who have scored just 15 goals in 25 games in championship.
They were grateful for a strong deflection which helped Milot Rashica’s strike against Liverpool, but Southampton have many more goal threats and deserve backing to win a game which may still be weak in scoring action.
Che Adams and Chelsea loanee Armando Broja are both lively forwards and James Ward-Prowse’s high-quality set pieces are a crucial part of their attacking plans.
Scotland international Stuart Armstrong ended his goalscoring drought by scoring in the opener against Everton last time out and deserves support to get on the scoresheet against the relegation favourites.
Armstrong, playing in a forward midfield role, took his goal well against the Toffees and also had good chances in Southampton’s previous game, an impressive 1-1 draw at Manchester United.
The former Celtic man had four shots on goal at Old Trafford, following the four he had in the 3-2 win at Tottenham, and he should be full of confidence after Saturday’s strike.
Norwich have lost seven of their 12 away league games this season.
Penalty taker James Ward-Prowse
Free kick assistant James Ward-Prowse
Aerial threat on set piece Jean Bednarek
card magnet Mohammad Salisu
Penalty taker Teemu Pukki
Free kick assistant milot rachica
Aerial threat on set piece Grant Hanley
card magnet brandon williams
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FIRST PUBLICATION AT 1:16 PM, FEBRUARY 24, 2022