Norwich City appear to have developed a patten this season and a hair biting but highly enjoyable trait.
They make a slow start and with quite a conservative approach in the first half of games this season. The opposition tends to chase the ball with City being a possession based side, the resulting play pans out with away sides running out of steam in the second half as City can move through the middle or by pushing the ball out wide to inflict damage. How strange would it be to be two nil ahead in the first ten minutes.
From pre season, Daniel Farke has been a firm believer in fit players who can work for a full 90 minutes and testimony to this has been the double training sessions which the inherited players have had to adapt to at the start of last season.
Nelson is definitely off to new pastures in January in my view. He has undoubted talent matched with poor personality issues unfortunately. I'm sure you can recall him getting all 'excited' with Daniel and the bench having come on as sub at Fulham to score. Hopes were high when he joined us as it appeared he needed stability with his own contract rather than his drawn out loan history at different clubs.
He can not match his individual skills with the required teamwork mentality required under Daniel's leadership. Oliveria has scored some brilliant goals in a City shirt and quite often with limited support around him. I love the long range strike at Wolves last season which reduced the league leaders to a draw in injury time at Wolves last season. I wish him well with his next club.
City fans are on the cusp of believing this unbelievable run can continue. Statistics are now appearing to indicate the positive outcome from clubs in a similar position at this point of the season. The players all know their jobs inside out, there is strength in depth to cover injuries and adaptability within the squad to cover positions and adaption of on pitch tactics. There is also a sense of unity through the club, players, fans and the City.
The only debate at present is whether help is required between the sticks. Tim Krul has been singled out for spilling the ball too often and therefore a potential weakness in the City armoury. I feel he has worked well with his back four and made significant saves to keep City in the game. Signals from the management suggest there is no cash to strengthen in January, time will tell. All I can say is football is far better when you have optimism.
Bolton did really well to stay up last season, this one will be another struggle for them and especially as wages are not being paid at present but at least they should finish higher than Ipswich.
No opposition in the Championship should be taken lightly. Having said that, it will be an unmitigated disaster if the Canaries fail to gain three points. City are top of the form guide with sixteen points from the last six games whilst Wanderers have picked up just two. Goals have been scarce in the last four Bolton games so it could be tight although I expect Norwich to stretch them across the park at Carrow Road.
My prediction is a solid 3-0 victory