Carrow Road braced for the hot shots
Jonathan Redhead Norwich City will come face-to-face with a holy trinity of Saints on Saturday - and will be out to prove they are the top League One hotshots. Southampton's front three of Rickie Lambert, new signing Lee Barnard and Adam Lallana have bagged an impressive 56 goals between them in all competitions this season, with Lambert finding the net again at the weekend in the 4-1 home defeat to Portsmouth in the FA Cup.
Norwich City will come face-to-face with a holy trinity of Saints on Saturday - and will be out to prove they are the top League One hotshots.
Southampton's front three of Rickie Lambert, new signing Lee Barnard and Adam Lallana have bagged an impressive 56 goals between them in all competitions this season, with Lambert finding the net again at the weekend in the 4-1 home defeat to Portsmouth in the FA Cup.
That strike took his total for the campaign to 25, with Barnard on 17, all for previous club Southend, and Lallana on 14.
Remarkably, it is the same number of goals the Canaries' own attacking triumvirate of Grant Holt, Chris Martin and Wes Hoolahan have amassed, with Holt taking his total to 24 for the season, one behind Lambert, with his left-foot thunderbolt at Brighton on Saturday. Martin is on 19, with Hoolahan on 13.
And all six hitmen look set to square up to each other at Carrow Road as City look to extend their lead at the top of the division, while the Wembley-bound Saints will aim to cling on to their outside chance of claiming a place in the play-offs, despite a 10-point deduction for entering administration last year.
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There should be goals on the cards as the sides have shared eight in their two games to date this season - with each encounter packing a sting in the tail.
City midfielder Stephen Hughes bagged a point for his side with a late equaliser in a 2-2 draw St Mary's back in November, but a month later the boot was on the other foot as Papa Waigo netted a last-gasp goal for the Saints to earn another 2-2 draw in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy semi-final at the same ground before the home team went onto to win on penalties.
The Saints went on to book their place in the Wembley final against Carlisle United on March 28 with victory over MK Dons last week.
However, after their FA Cup fifth round disappointment against their south coast rivals, Lallana said the Saints' focus now is all on the league and their efforts to reach the top six.
“We're out of the cup so we've got our heads back on the league for the game at Norwich,” he said.
“We've got to come into training with our heads focused on that game.
“We're still on a push for the play-offs. There are 18 games to go and we've got to push to win as many games as we can and hopefully we'll sneak in there.”
But Holt has warned the Saints that the Canaries are a better side at home as they look to embark on another unbeaten run following the win at the Withdean Stadium.
“Southampton will be tough - they have got a good side.
“But we are a different animal at Carrow Road, and I'm sure they'll be in for a tough fight.”