Team news, manager, player to watch, referee and betting odds for Norwich City’s opening Premier League fixture at Fulham.

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• Norwich City team news:

Wes Hoolahan returned to training on Thursday after missing City’s final two pre-season games with an Achilles problem. The Irishman and Anthony Pilkington (hamstring) were both forced to miss out on a potential international call-up for the Republic, although Pilkington’s absence was precautionary.

Defenders Elliott Ward and Steven Whittaker (ankle) are both ruled out. Jacob Butterfield and David Fox have resumed training after knee problems hindered their pre-season preparations. Neither will be involved at Fulham although Fox is in line to feature in Monday’s development league opener against Blackburn.

Subs (from): Rudd, Lappin, Garrido, Barnett, Francomb, Smith, Hoolahan, Jackson, Vaughan, Morison, C Martin.

• Fulham team news:

Wantaway forward Clint Dempsey has been left out of Fulham’s squad for Saturday’s home game against Norwich. Dempsey has reportedly been unsettled by Liverpool’s flirtation with him all summer and Cottagers’ boss Martin Jol has decided the American is not in the right state of mind to take on the Canaries. Kerim Frei (pelvis), Philippe Senderos (foot) and Zdenek Grygera (knee) are unavailable.

Subs (from): Stockdale, Kelly, Kasami, Burn, Trotta, Sidwell, Briggs, Halliche, Rodallega.

• Manager:

Martin Jol. Experienced manager who began his long career in the Dutch amateur league with ADO Den Haag who he led to successive promotions. Guided Roda JC to the club’s first trophy in 30 years. Jol then made his name in this country at Tottenham where he just missed out on Champions League qualification. Moved back to the continent during spells at Ajax and Hamburg, before he returned to England to manage Fulham in 2011.

• Player to watch:

Moussa Dembele has flourished after being switched into a central midfield role at Craven Cottage. Blessed with pace and a good range of passing, the Belgian can also find the net as his five goals during the 2010/11 season proved.

• Referee:

Michael Oliver (Northumberland). The youngest ever official to referee a Premier League match, Oliver is not hugely popular with Norwich City fans after sending off Grant Holt during City’s 3-3 draw away to Reading in 2010, before sending manager Paul Lambert to the stands as well. Involved in fresh controversy during the build up to Stoke’s winner in the Premier League at the Britannia last season.

• Betting

Fulham 4/5, Norwich 7/2, draw 5/2

First scorer

Fulham: Petric 11/2, Rodallega 6/1, Ruiz 7/1, Trotta 8/1, Duff 12/1.

Norwich: Holt 7/1, Morison 8/1, Jackson, Vaughan 9/1, C Martin 10/1.

No goalscorer: 11/1.

Latest Norwich City stories

9 comments

  • only one for me mad brewer, the olympics is over.Steve interesting Davis, Which league has the most league winners in it ?

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    billythebookie

    Saturday, August 18, 2012

  • It's a shame that we are going into the season just looking for damage limitation. With one up front Whooton is hoping to get a few 0-0's under his belt early on. Unfortunately our defence isn't up to the task. We won't score and our defence is suspect. Luckily for us Fulham are looking like favourites for relegation and are without their best player, which will obviously help us massively. 2-0 Fulham. Warmest regards - Ged Number1 NCFC Superfan.

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    Ged Steroo

    Friday, August 17, 2012

  • Has Garrido got his International clearance already?

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    Mad Brewer

    Saturday, August 18, 2012

  • Wolves are the latest club to dump the Goal music, Are Norwich the only club left !

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    billythebookie

    Friday, August 17, 2012

  • ...and there is only one of me. I reckon a draw today, but as for the odds, you'll have to ask my not so illustrious colleague

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    billythefleeceyoudrybookie

    Saturday, August 18, 2012

  • What sort of pathetic question is that William?! As if I care who won the league 100 years ago. Try living in the present. Thanks for your continued contributions to the board of the club we all know you're jealous of deep down. Keep feeding us them players and keep following City wishing you were us

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    stephen davis

    Saturday, August 18, 2012

  • All these versions of TB booky are confusing me. There are at least 3 now.

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    Mad Brewer

    Saturday, August 18, 2012

  • If you know which clubs play goal music, you really need to get out more. "Billy no mates" indeed. But thanks for spending so much of your time on our board, very flattering to know you always have City on your mind, the club who have overshadowed Leeds and 1p5wich over the last few years. Enjoy the Championship this year

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    stephen davis

    Saturday, August 18, 2012

  • Aah, bless'em, the trolls are out. Guess they've got nothing better to do. Regardless, I think this will be an interesting season. Let's start with a positive result today.

    Report this comment

    billythefleeceyoudrybookie

    Saturday, August 18, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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