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Norwich City will host Sunderland at Carrow Road with both Canaries manager Chris Hughton and Black Cats manager Martin O'Neill looking to move up the table.


Norwich extended their unbeaten run to eight games in all competitions with a hard-fought draw against Southampton on Wednesday night, while Martin O'Neill's charges failed to overcome cellar dwellers QPR, and have managed just one win in their last nine matches.

Nonetheless, Hughton is expecting Sunderland to pose them a tough test, although he is confident that his side know what is required to continue their good run. 

"The players deserve everything that they have had from recent games," Hughton said.

"They wouldn't have been able to get these results without putting the work in. 

"The last two games have been away from home and we've gone a goal behind and got ourselves back into the game, which means we've had the ability to finish strong in games, that's always pleasing. 

"We know what we have to put in to get results in this division, and we've shown that in abundance. 

"As long as you're accumulating points, which we are, then we're doing well."

Starting XIs - Norwich vs Sunderland

Norwich: Bunn, Garrido, Bassong, R Bennett, Whittaker, Pilkington, Johnson, Tettey, Snodgrass, Hoolahan, Holt (c).

Subs: Rudd, Martin, Jackson, Howson, Morison, E Bennett, Barnett.

Sunderland: Mignolet, Bardsley (c), Rose, Larsson, Gardner, Kilgallon, Johnson, McClean, Cuellar, Fletcher, Sessegnon.

Subs: Campbell, Wickham, McFadden, Colback, Vaughan, Bramble, Westwood.

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Norwich summer signing Mark Bunn has stepped in for usual first teamer John Ruddy, who has unfortunately been side-lined with a thigh injury, but the Hughton was delighted with the display of Bunn in Ruddy's absence.

He added: "This is the reason why we brought Mark Bunn in - he is a 'keeper of experience and his involvement so far has been very good, and it's a good opportunity for him.

"At this moment we're still looking at approximately a three month period of absence for John Ruddy.

"It is a severe thigh strain, but we're still assessing it and we'll know after the weekend the course of action - it will need a small operation or just a period of rest and recuperation."

For O'Neill, this match up sees him return to the club where he enjoyed two playing spells, and the 60-year-old tactician admits he is impressed by the way Norwich have performed in recent weeks.

"Chris [Hughton] has come in and done very well," O'Neill said. 

"He is an excellent young manager and his record in recent seasons has been very good.

"Norwich have a bit of solidity about them now. They were conceding goals early on in the season but seem to have rectified that. They are on a very good run at the moment."

However, after two positive displays on the road against Everton and Fulham in recent weeks for Sunderland, O'Neill is positive ahead of the trip to face Hughton's side.

"I think that performances away from home all season have been pretty strong," O'Neill added.

"The only time we really were well and truly beaten was away at Manchester City and we've always been in every single away game right up to the end, whether we have lost or not, so I think that we should take good heart from that.

"Now we have to be very positive, very strong and try and get something from the game."

Sunday's Premier League Fixture

Norwich vs Sunderland

Saturday's Premier League Results

Reading 3-4 Manchester United

West Ham 3-1 Chelsea

Arsenal 0-2 Swansea

Fulham 0-3 Tottenham

Liverpool 1-0 Southampton

Man City 1-1 Everton

QPR 1-1 Aston Villa

West Brom 0-1 Stoke

Monday's Premier League Fixture

Newcastle vs Wigan

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