Birmingham City v Norwich City - Here We Go Again

Birmingham City v Norwich City - Here We Go Again

Following the relative excitement of the World Cup over the summer, did anyone notice England play with virtually the identical set up and tactics as Daniel Farke, and a quiet one with no City players taking part. The lack of player involvement is potentially an indicator as to the weaker standard of the current Canaries squad? The season opener will be taking place at St Andrews, home of Birmingham City. 

This week the forums have been running the bookies predicted league tables. The betting indicates another mid table finish for Norwich and varying range of bets suggesting either a relegation fight or lower mid table finish for Birmingham.

Norwich City have eight new signings which could possibly be an improvement of the players who have left Carrow Road. It appears the bookies also rate Ipswich in a similar mould to Birmingham for either an average or poor season. Based on Shrewsbury Town last season, I can only see Town as a dour 0-0, 1-0 or 0-1 side.

Will the Canaries a produce exciting, free flowing, scoring from all angles season? From the friendlies played so far, all away due to the relaying of the pitch, the same slow, passing from the back, possession based play is being performed which usually breaks down in the last third following an array of sideways and back passes. Strangely enough and I can not recount a previous scenario played out last season with Norwich only having two strikers in the squad in Nelson Oliveria and Dennis Srbeny.

They produced a combined total of seven league goals between them.

The two top scorers last season were midfielder James Maddison (now at Leicester) and Josh Murphy (now at Cardiff) who claimed a total of 21 league goals. The question is whether there is enough quality left to plug the gap?

Amazingly Norwich now have three finishers in this seasons squad, Srbeny is still here and managed two goals in the friendlies. He is joined by loanee and ex Ipswich player, Jordan Rhodes who managed 156 goals for Huddersfield and Blackburn plus Finnish international, Temmu Pukki who notched 55 goals in 130 games for Danish Superliga side, Bronby.

If the midfield can come up with the right service, good times could return to the boys in yellow and green.

Oliveria is still on the books but has played no part in the build up so and it has just been confirmed he is leaving the club. The same applies to Russ Martin and thankfully he also looks like his has played his last game for City. This season we will have a proper Scottish centre half wearing the captain's armband in Grant Hanley. I have high hopes he will continue to lead by example and has so much experience from being a very young skipper at Blackburn Rovers.

The other new recruits are Tim Krul in goal, winger/wingback Ben Marshall and previous Millwall loanee from Wolves, midfielders Moritz Leither who was on loan last season and has signed permanently, Under 23 Argentinian, Emilano Buendia, Kenny McLean from Aberdeen and German loanee Felix Passlack, whilst the English talent, Ben Godfrey and Todd Cantwell have returned from loan experiences with Shrewsbury and Fortuna Sittard respectively following excellent reports. Carlton Morris is also back from Shrewsbury but has a long term injury. 

The only news I have picked up from the Midlands is the financial woe and subsequent lack of transfers. Will this either be a problem or galvanise the club in the face of adversity. It's really difficult to call the result on Saturday.

Fans appear split on a win, draw or defeat. I predict Norwich to pull off a 2-1 victory. It will be interesting to see the new boys at home for the first time when West Brom arrive in our fine city on the 11th and then Stevenage on the 14th in the cup.

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