Norwich City out to smash Premier League Sunday hoodoo
Norwich City can wrap up their Premier League season with another first if they beat Aston Villa in their final fixture.
Paul Lambert's team have made a habit of setting new records and consigning old jinxes to history over three seasons that have taken the club from the lower reaches of League One to top-flight survival, and they can rid themselves of another odd statistic at Carrow Road on Sunday (3pm).
The Canaries have never won a Premier League game on a Sunday in 15 attempts, five of them this season.
But victory over Villa would break that sequence and could take them as high as 11th place in the final table.
Villa are certain of survival by virtue of a 17-goal advantage over third-from-bottom Bolton, but Alex McLeish's team are sure to finish in the bottom six regardless of Sunday's result.
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City's first Sunday fixture in the Premier League was a 4-1 defeat at Liverpool in October 1992, and in all they have recorded six draws and nine defeats from their 15 Sunday games in the top flight, most recently their 1-0 defeat at Newcastle in March.
Not that the day of the week ought to be a problem, for the Canaries thrashed Ipswich 4-1 on their only Sunday fixture in the Championship last season.
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Villa, who have won just seven league games all season –but have drawn no fewer than 17 – will be aiming to become the third team to double the Canaries.
They finally ended any fear of relegation with a 1-1 draw at home to Tottenham on Sunday, and central defender Richard Dunne's return from injury in the last two games has been hailed as an important factor in seeing them to safety.
Dunne, who has been included in Giovanni Trapattoni's Republic of Ireland squad for Euro 2012 along with Villa team-mate Shay Given, spent 11 weeks on the sidelines after surgery on the broken collar bone he sustained in the 1-0 home defeat by former club Manchester City in February.
'Everyone was desperate for Richard to get back,' said fellow defender James Collins. 'Carlos Cuellar was superb while he was out so it is a case of one player goes out and another comes in to take his place.
'I think it was tough for Richard because he'd never had an injury which had kept him out for so long.
'But he's naturally a quick healer and works hard at the training ground. When he went down and stayed down I knew he would be in trouble because he is not one to lie down too easily.
'Unfortunately it was a more serious one but, like I say, he's a good professional around the training ground and got on with his work.
'I've been out with long injuries myself and it is tough to come in to do rehab and then watch all the boys go out on the training pitch knowing you can't do the same.'
• Norwich City's Sunday games in Premier League
Liverpool 4, Norwich 1
Sheffield Wed 1, Norwich 0
Norwich 0, Blackburn 0
Norwich 0, Manchester Utd 2
Norwich 1, Arsenal 1
Wimbledon 1, Norwich 0
Norwich 1, Aston Villa 1
Tottenham 0, Norwich 0
Norwich 0, Tottenham 2
Fulham 6, Norwich 0
Norwich 1, Stoke 1
Norwich 0, West Brom 1
Norwich 1, Manchester Utd 2
Norwich 1, Wigan 1
Newcastle 1, Norwich 0