Guiding a club to back-to-back promotions from League One to the Premier League is nothing short of sheer brilliance and after sitting 10 points clear of the drop zone with just three games to go in his debut season at the top, Norwich City boss Paul Lambert deserves all the praise coming his way for his work at Carrow Road. The Scot is a genuine contender for the Manager of the Season title and not many would be surprised if he wins it.
However, life has not been that great for Lambert's opposite number for this tie - Kenny Dalglish. After helplessly watching his club stumble through its worst run in six decades, he managed a breather - thanks to a 2-1 FA Cup semi-final comeback win over derby rivals Everton at Wembley. However, a disappointing home loss to West Brom, headed by former Reds boss Roy Hodgson, on Sunday might not have been the best way to follow it up.
Despite winning the Carling Cup and reaching the FA Cup final, Liverpool sit just three points clear of Norwich, who are 13<sup>th. Another loss will see the Reds struggling to finish in the top half of the table.
The pressure is back onDalglish, who must be desperately waiting for the curtains to drop on this season so he can do what is required - should he still be in charge - to make amends next time around. Unfortunately for him, Norwich are not the easiest of opponents in Liverpool's current state of affairs; the Canaries have been playing well at home this season.
Team News: Norwich have a couple of names missing in defence. Marc Tierney will not play any part in the remaining games after undergoing surgery for a groin injury. Zak Whitbread, a product of Liverpool's academy, might return to the squad after recovering from a calf problem, while another former Reds player Daniel Ayala remains an absentee due to a hamstring injury.
Captain Steven Gerrard should start this clash for Liverpool after being rested for the home defeat against West Brom last week. Dalglish has no fresh injury woes other than long term absentees Charlie Adam and Lucas Leiva, who are both suffering from knee injuries.
- Both teams have not had the best of results in recent months. In their last 10 league matches, Liverpool have only won once, while Norwich have triumphed just twice.
- The Reds have scored seven goals less than the Canaries in the league this season.
- Norwich will go level on points with Liverpool if they win on Saturday, though Lambert's men have played a game more than Dalglish's side.
- The reverse fixture at Anfield in October ended in a 1-1 draw, after substitute Grant Holt cancelled out Craig Bellamy's deflected strike in the first half.
Probable Starting Line-up
Norwich: Ruddy, Drury, R. Bennett, Ward, Martin, Surman, E. Bennett, Howson, Hoolahan, Vaughan, Holt
Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Enrique, Spearing, Gerrard, Henderson, Maxi, Kuyt, Suarez