Jagielka Predicting A Battle
Defender looking forward to locking horns with Grant Holt.
Phil Jagielka is relishing an ‘old-fashioned’ tussle with Grant Holt when Norwich City visit Goodison Park this Saturday afternoon.
Fresh from being named the Club’s Player of the Month for October, Jagielka is expected to skipper the side against the Canaries in the absence of club captain Phil Neville.
And should he be given the nod by manager David Moyes to wear the armband, he is aiming to lead by example and win his battle with the Canaries’ powerhouse centre-forward.
“It will feel like a game of football rather than a game of touch rugby, so it will be interesting,” Jagielka told evertontv.
“It will be a battle and it’s not going to make my life easier playing against people like him.
“It’s something that you relish, playing against different styles and different players. Grant Holt is one that has come through the leagues but he still gets the job done and scores the goals.”
Holt has been at the core of Norwich’s renaissance in recent years, netting 31 and 23 goals respectively as the Canaries were promoted from League One in 2010 and the Championship in 2011.
He was crowned the club’s Player of the Year for a third successive season in May after finishing his debut season in the Premier League with 15 strikes.
The 31-year-old has been amongst the goals again this season, scoring three times including the winner against Arsenal a month ago.
“People weren’t too sure whether he would carry on from last season,” continued Jagielka. “He struggled a little bit to begin with but he has picked his form up again.
“He’s probably an old-fashioned style centre-forward. He gives as good as he gets and when there is a chance to score, more often than not he puts it in the back of the net.
“Not only myself, but the rest of the defenders will be keeping an eye on him - amongst other players in the Norwich team who can score goals.”
Norwich arrive on Merseyside having accrued 11 points from their last five Premier League outings which included wins over Arsenal and Manchester United.
While he's aware of the threat that Chris Hughton’s team pose, Jagielka is confident the Blues can return to winning ways following the slip at Reading a week ago.
He continued: “We can’t get hung up on results - Reading is a hard place to go, we should have done better but we didn’t.
“There are plenty more games left in the season and we have still got a decent platform to kick-on from.
“Norwich had a fantastic result at the weekend. We struggled against them last year and drew so we know it’s going to be a really tough game.
“We’ve obviously got a few injuries and Felli is suspended. It’s going to test the squad but I’m sure the boys will be up for it and step up to the plate come Saturday."
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