Premier League

Wolverhampton-Norwich City Preview

Dean Smith suggest Norwich City's squad are harbouring a belief they can stay up this season after two successive victories.

The Canaries' first win of the season proved to be Daniel Farke's last game in charge, with Norwich parting ways with their previous coach on the back of the victory over Brentford earlier this month.

Smith, who was sacked by Aston Villa a day later, made a swift return to management as Farke's replacement and won his first game in charge, against Southampton last time out.

Now Norwich, who are 19th on eight points, three adrift from safety, host in-form Wolves. Bruno Lage's side are in sixth place, who beat West Ham last week.

"There is a growing belief in the group, but we know, under myself, it is only one game and one result," he said.

"It is back-to-back wins in the Premier League which is very hard to come by, but we are playing against a very good team now in Wolves who are in good form, I think they have won five of their last seven games.

"Bruno has gone in there and adapted their style and it will be a tough game for us, but we are at home again and if the second half atmosphere [against Southampton] is anything to go by, if we can get the supporters behind us, then it will be a tough place to come."

Lage, meanwhile, believes the most testing period of the season is coming up.

"For me, the real challenge starts now for the team and squad. We're going to play nine games in five weeks, and we are working with 16 players plus two goalkeepers," he said.

"I need everyone fit and ready. It's a short squad, we're going to play games and games, so we need to be aware of bookings, injury problems, and also COVID."

Norwich City - Teemu Pukki

Teemu Pukki has scored in his last two Premier League games for Norwich, and is looking to score in three in a row in the competition for the first time since August 2019, when he netted in his first ever three Premier League appearances.

Wolves - Daniel Podence

Having missed the majority of the year through injury, Daniel Podence is finding his form again, with the nippy forward having teed up Raul Jimenez's winner against West Ham last time out.

- After a run of three consecutive wins against them between 2015 and 2017, Norwich are winless in four league games against Wolves (D1 L3).

- Wolves have won their last two away league games against Norwich, having lost four in a row at Carrow Road before this.

- Norwich have won their last two Premier League games, as many as they had in their previous 35 in the competition. They last won three consecutive games in the division back in December 2012.

- Norwich have scored as many goals (four) in their last two Premier League games as they had in their previous 20 combined. The Canaries are looking to score more than once in three consecutive top-flight games for the first time since August 2013.

- Smith has already lost at home to Wolves this season, a 3-2 loss while he was at Aston Villa. Only four different managers have ever lost two home games against the same opponent in a single Premier League campaign - Gerry Francis vs Wimbledon (1994-95), Ron Atkinson vs Manchester United (1994-95), Steve Bruce vs Aston Villa and Man Utd (2007-08) and Mark Hughes vs Chelsea (2017-18).

Updated November 26, 2021

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