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Norwich City v Reading FC: 3 Things To Look Out For

As Reading look for their first away victory in Norfolk since 2009, sceptic Bobbins gazes in the murky depths ahead...

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1) This one practically writes itself

Former Adkins protegé, Gary Hooper, could return to the Norwich City starting XI for the first time this season after recovering from a persistent calf injury (not dissimilar to our own Danny Guthrie. Ssh now, I know what you're thinking!).

With my "Debbie Downer" head on, you just know that Hooper, previously tenuously linked with us to boot, will likely start, likely score a brace, and likely condemn us to yet another away defeat. Hooper has always had a fine knack for scoring. At his time at Scunthorpe with Adkins, he scored 50 goals in 95 appearances for the Iron.

2) Will Garath McCleary also graduate from the subs bench to start against the Canaries?

Heaven knows we need something to give the opposition a few kittens. As I noted in the stat analysis against Cardiff, Garath McCleary gave us more balance down the right, and his pace and variation has been sadly lacking from our play all season. Whether he is ready to complete a full 90+ minutes remains to be seen, but if I were a betting man, I wouldn't be shocked to see him start but, more than likely, not finish. Whichever way Nigel proposes to use him, he is most certainly a shot in the arm to a squad that needs a player who can be a threat to the opposition.

3) Are Anton Ferdinand and Michael Hector the answer?

Whether he's ready or not, Anton Ferdinand is pretty much certain to start on Saturday due to the gallimaufry of game that Alex Pearce suffered in Wales. Despite the sending off, one could suggest that Pearce may have in been in line for the Spanish archer regardless due to the improvements of Michael Hector of late, and the glint of organisation that Ferdinand offered in his cameo performance against Rotherham. It may be too much to ask for Ferdinand and Hector to keep a clean sheet at the first time of asking, but it's the only viable partnership that's yet to be witnessed this season. Buckle up, this one may be a bumpy ride!

Stats courtesy of Soccerbase.