Johnny Howson

Sunderland 1-3 Norwich City: Canaries fly past bumbling Black Cats

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  • Hoolahan the star man as Canaries roll
  • Watmore scores in PL debut for Black Cats
  • Martin, Whittaker, Redmond net in win
  • Black Cats winless through two matches

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Russell Martin, Martin Whittaker and Nathan Redmond helped Norwich cruise to a 3-1 win at Sunderland on Saturday, as dozens of fans departed the Stadium of Light well before time.

Duncan Watmore scored on his Sunderland debut, as the 21-year-old Englishman was able to put a bouncing shot past a confused John Ruddy late in the match.

Sunderland is last in the Premier League with a minus-4 goal differential, while Norwich rises with its first three points of the season.

[ RELATED: Latest Premier League standings ]

Norwich forced Costel Pantilimon into a fine save in the 26th minute before netting moments later.

Johnny Howson ripped a shot that Pantilimon dove to push out for a corner, and the keeper was called on again off the corner, only to see his parry go right to Martin. The Scottish defender netted his first Premier League goal since the Canaries’ 2012-13 season.

Norwich added to Sunderland’s misery before the half was through as Wes Hoolahan and Whittaker worked a 1-2 that left both Patrick van Aanholt and Younes Kaboul in the dust. Just like that, it was 2-0 Canaries in the 37th minute.

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Loads of Sunderland fans left at halftime, which means they missed Hoolahan and Redmond hooking up for a 1-2 that ended with the latter beating Pantilimon to the near post and a 3-0 lead for Norwich after 57 minutes.

Watmore scored on his Premier League debut, as the 20-year-old was in the team of the tournament for the 2015 Toulon Tournament.

Watch Live: Southampton vs. Norwich (Lineups and Discuss)

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Norwich City will hope to take advantage of Southampton’s safety by upsetting the Saints at home on Saturday (Watch live at 11 a.m. ET online via Live Extra).

Southampton mark the Premier League’s dividing line between comfort and fear. With 42 points, 17 points from the drop, the Saints are clearly safe. But, and as much as many would hate to admit it after Southampton’s fantastic start, they’re also highly unlikely to break into the top six. Southampton are currently six points from a Europa League spot, and the three sides occupying slots 6-8 all have at least one game in hand. In other words, the Saints can use their remaining nine games to experiment, to test younger players and try new formations.

The visitors will be banking on this being the (unlikely) case. Norwich are currently four points above the drop, which seems like quite a big gap this season, but the Canaries are hungry for more. Last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Stoke was a disappointment, particularly as the Potters played the final 12 minutes down a man. With that match following the 4-1 thrashing by Aston Villa, Norwich will be determined to make amends at St. Mary’s.

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Chris Hughton has made a host of changes after last week’s draw. Steven Wiattaker and Ryan Bennett step into defense, Johnny Howson is in midfield, and Robert Snodgrass, Anthony Pilkington and Gary Hooper start up top in a 4-3-3.

For the hosts, Gastón Ramírez gets a rather surprising start, his first since January 1. Rickie Lambert is on the bench while Jay Rodriguez and Adam Lallana are left to shoulder much of the attacking burden – although it rarely seems much of one for them.

LINEUPS

Southampton: Boruc, Clyne, Fonte, Lovren, Shaw, Schneiderlin, S. Davis, Ward-Prowse, Lallana, Ramírez, Rodriguez

Subs: Gazzaniga, Yoshida, Lambert, Guly, Chambers, Hooiveld, Gallagher

Norwich City: Ruddy; Whittaker, Yobo, R Bennett, Olsson; Tettey, Johnson, Howson; Snodgrass, Pilkington, Hooper

Subs: Bunn, Martin, Bassong, van Wolfswinkel, Hoolahan, Elmander, Redmond

Watch Live: Norwich vs. Tottenham (Lineups and Discuss)

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A struggling Norwich City will do all they can to hold down the home fort at Carrow Road against a surging Spurs at 11am ET on NBCSN or live online at NBC Sports Live Extra.

In the crowded bottom half of the table, Norwich City are just a single point from safety in 17th position in the table.

Chris Hughton is struggling with both points and injury.  Johnny Howson makes his return from a back problem to make the bench, but Jonas Gutierrez, Ryan Bennett, Michael Turner, and Elliott Bennett are all out with injury.

Hughton will be fearful of his job if Norwich cannot get a result today, as he’s already been told the board is searching for a potential replacement.

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For Tottenham Hotspur the prospects are much brighter.  They look to keep pace with Liverpool in the chase for fourth place in the table, currently six back of the Reds after their win at Anfield earlier today.

Tim Sherwood has many players back who were rested midweek in the Europa League, including Hugo Lloris, Aaron Lennon, and Emmanuel Adebayor. Kyle Walker is still out however with a niggling injury, with Kyle Naughton deputizing at right-back

LINEUPS:

Norwich – Ruddy; Martin, Yobo, Bassong, Olsson; Tettey, Johnson; Snodgrass, Fer, Redmond; van Wolfswinkel.
Bench – Bunn, Whittaker, Howson, Hooper, Pilkington, Hoolahan, Elmander.

Tottenham – Lloris; Naughton, Dawson, Vertonghen, Rose; Capoue, Bentaleb, Dembele, Paulinho; Lennon, Adebayor.
Bench – Friedel, Fryers, Chadli, Eriksen, Townsend, Kane, Soldado.