Whilst a win against Burnley has restored some faith and confidence, Norwich is probably high on the least preferable places for us to be on Friday night. I’m not being mean about the place, of course – a lovely city, miles away and shunted from its’ more convenient weekend slot for the benefit of Sky TV cameras. More that Norwich have had a fantastic season and they’ll be bloody tough for us to get anything out of!
A defeat at Swansea followed by a draw with Watford has seen the Canaries drop from the automatic promotion spot they were inhabiting at the expense of Cardiff City. They’ll be very keen to halt this blip in form and renew their assault on the top two – or, could it be that like other sides that have ascended to beneath QPR this season they are on the beginning of a tricky run of results that might see their promotion bid wane? We can but hope so, I suppose.
For us there needs to be more evidence from the team of any kind of revival, a not-exactly-easy win over Burnley who contested most of the game with ten men doesn’t exactly paper of the cracks of the previous nine games without a victory. Our last three away games have all ended in defeat. A win for Norwich would put them back second, at least for a day, a win for us would see us catch Leeds – again, for one day only potentially – a draw would put us ahead of the Yorkshire team thanks to our goal difference.
Former Forest striker (or right winger, in his latter time with us – SIGH) Grant Holt is an injury doubt for the Canaries having picked up a hamstring injury. He’s been somewhat of a talisman for them, and is their club captain too – whilst I wouldn’t wish injury on anyone, it would be useful for us if he’s either not fully fit or unavailable. He’s having a cracking season on the goalscoring front, and I’m sure would like nothing better than to put the ball past us!
The Reds are without Chris Cohen for the final game of his suspension – with McKenna and Moussi getting back into their stride that’s not so much of an emergency now, I would expect to see Konchesky remain at left back – I’ve heard no news over Joel Lynch’s injury, nor the injury that kept Nathan Tyson out against Burnley. Billy has been busy hinting over Robbie Findley’s return to training – I imagine a starting berth is too soon, but he may make the bench.
Whether the late brace from David McGoldrick coming on as a substitute warrants a starting place remains to be seen, Billy might also choose Boyd over other striking options – Boyd was ready to enter the pitch on Tuesday when a cramp for Moloney meant Gunter coming on instead. I’d expect to see Gunter return to the side also – and hopefully Robbie Earnshaw can feature and prove deadly against his old club.
So how’s this one going to go? It’s a tough ask to get anything out of Carrow Road – we’ve yet to score more than two goals away from home – and have been worrying at defending, although I do ascribe this to the lightweightedness of our midfield with Cohen, Moussi and McKenna having been missing – with two of those in contention I would hope that we will put up a more credible defence.
We’ve already drawn more games than any side in the Championship this season, but I’d be happy to chalk up another one tomorrow evening – a win would make me ecstatic. Hopefully we can take a leaf from Swansea’s book – although we don’t really have the personnel to replicate their attacking focus which tends to be from the wings. I do have a sneaky optimistic hope that we might exacerbate a bit of a blip for the Norwich, but that does seem to grate with my more rational thinking!
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