Notebook – Spurs v Norwich
Sat 04 December 2021, 10:00|Tottenham Hotspur
Just three days after our 2-0 win over Brentford, we are back in Premier League action at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday as we host Norwich City (2pm kick-off).
In the Notebook, we take a look at the key points of note ahead of the game…
1 - Last meeting
We last faced the Canaries competitively in the FA Cup fifth round at home in March, 2020, just before the initial lockdown following the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak. Nothing could separate the sides in normal time as Jan Vertonghen’s 13th-minute opener was cancelled out by Josip Drmic’s equaliser, 12 minutes from time. With the teams still level after extra-time, the tie was settled on penalties but, unfortunately, it was not to be our night as the Norfolk side edged it 3-2 in the shootout. Two months earlier, we came out on top in the Premier League as Dele and Heung-Min Son found the target either side of Teemu Pukki’s equaliser in a 2-1 win at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
2 - Home run
That 2-1 home win over Norwich in January, 2020, was our third home league victory over the Canaries in a row. Beginning with a 2-0 victory in September, 2013, we then went a step further when we next met in December, 2015, as we strolled to a 3-0 triumph – a Harry Kane double and a strike from Tom Carroll sealing all three points – before we made it three on the trot in the aforementioned last home meeting, 23 months ago.
3 - Triple Smith trips
Norwich boss Dean Smith returns to N17 this Sunday for the third time in 2021. First visiting us this year as Aston Villa manager back in May, and coming away with a 2-1 win, he then returned with the Villans last month as we enjoyed a reverse of that spring defeat - a strike from Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and an own goal seeing us home. Since that result, Smith has swapped the East Midlands for Norfolk and is so far unbeaten after three games in charge of the Canaries. This will be his fourth visit to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium since August, 2019 - the most of any opposition manager.
4 - Sunday bests
Sunday games at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium are rarely drawn. In our last 14 Premier League games at our north London home, we have won 11 and lost the other three. We have also come out on top in six of the last seven such games.
5 - Canaries’ capital concerns
Having been on a 25-game winless run in Premier League games in London – a spell stretching back to April, 2012 - Norwich were victorious on their last visit to the capital as they defeated Brentford 2-1 last month. However, it has been over 29 years since they last won consecutive games in London - the Premier League’s first month of existence - defeating Arsenal, Chelsea and Crystal Palace in their own back yards between August and September, 1992.
6 - History for Conte
Antonio Conte could join an exclusive group of Spurs managers with victory over Norwich on Sunday afternoon. Having won each of his first two Premier League games (versus Leeds United and Brentford) since his appointment as Head Coach at the start of November, if he makes it three in a row by taking all three points against the Canaries, he’ll become just the third manager in our history to win his first three home games in the competition (Harry Redknapp and Ryan Mason also won each of their first three home fixtures in charge of the Club).
7 - The Italian Job
This Sunday might be Antonio Conte’s first-ever meeting with Norwich City in the Premier League, but he will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of the five Italian coaches to have previously taken on the Canaries and all tasted victory. Claudio Ranieri, Carlo Ancelotti, Roberto Di Matteo, Roberto Mancini and Francesco Guidolin have faced Norwich eight times between them and have won each time. Antonio will become the sixth Italian manager to face the Norfolk side in competition and will hope to keep up that record on Sunday.
8 - Spot on Harry
Harry Kane could also make history this weekend. The striker, who spent time on loan at Carrow Road in 2012 to gain first team experience, has five goals to his name in three Premier League appearances against the Canaries, and a goal in each of those games has come via a penalty. If he scores from the penalty spot for the fourth game in a row against Norwich, he will become the first player in the competition’s history to do so against a specific opponent.
9 - Team news – Gio close to return
Antonio confirmed on Friday that Giovani Lo Celso is close to a return. The midfielder, who has been out of action for the last month with a knee injury, is expected to be back in training soon but, unfortunately, the Norwich game will come too soon for him. His compatriot Cristian Romero, meanwhile, remains unavailable and is expected to be out until at least the new year.
10 - Antonio keen to build
While pleased to get back to winning ways with victory over Brentford on Thursday night, Antonio Conte is not one for resting, with his eyes solely on taking all three points once again in the Premier League on Sunday.
“(The Brentford game) was a good performance, a good win, many positives from the work we’re doing in training sessions in this period,” he said. “Three points, very important for the table, but the players know very well that in three days we have another important game against Norwich, and we have to be prepared to face this game in the best possible way.”