Norwich City v Crystal Palace Preview

Norwich City v Crystal Palace Preview

The Norwich City players left everything on the pitch on Saturday and I believe Spurs can count themselves very fortunate to come away with one point.

Tottenham players could not relax on the ball, they were continually pressed which led to the lost possession for both the first goal and the disallowed VAR decision.

The damage to the game created by the awful implementation of VAR is now building momentum amongst pundits and fans alike.

Going back to 2010 when Frank Lampard hit the underside of the crossbar and watched the ball drop over the goal line against a Germany in the World Cup only for the strike to be ruled by the officials was appalling. The touchline technology has been a brilliant addition to the game.

However, the football authorities have created a huge cock up in managing the flawed introduction of VAR. Firstly, the decision regarding what incidents are reviewed and then how the incident is reviewed. The incredible ball from Vrancic was amazing and the run, control and finish from Pukki was world class. His feet were behind the defender, enough said.

Harold Kane being offside for the free kick and equaliser just rubbed salt in the wounds.

I was proud of the Canaries performance and single out Grant Handley who had a captain’s performance. To have missed so much of last and also this season and to produce energy levels with his runs, blocks, distribution, challenges and heading of the ball in his typically aggressive fashion was simply a joy to watch.

The football being played this season is amazing for a team in 20th place. Tim Krul mentioned last week that most relegation threatened sides performances are naturally poor and easily explained, Norwich however continue to look capable of winning every game, except the home performance against Villa.

Palace is therefore another winnable opportunity. Hopefully the players will be buoyed by the Spurs performance and drive to victory on Wednesday. I loved Daniel Farke’s interview when talking about making miracles happen. 80% of a sportsman’s performance is in their head. I hope the changing room still believes.

City have struggled against Palace in recent years. Three wins in the last 19 attempts tells its own story.

Looking back at the victories, a 2-1 at home win was achieved in 1983 contesting in the old First Division with Darren Huckerby and Malcolm Mackay notching in front of 16,425.

In September 2007 competing in the Championship, David Strihavka coming off the bench in front of 24,228 and scoring the only goal in the game, who remembers him? Most recently in November 2013 and again at home, a 1-0 victory was repeated with Gary Hooper doing the damage this time in front of 26,851 in the Premier League. At least results have been better when playing at home.

Players who have represented both clubs include strikers Cameron Jerome, Lewis Grabban, Alan Lee, Aaron Wilbraham, Chris Martin and Patrick Bamford plus defenders Rhoys Wiggins and Mark Edworthy.

Palace now find themselves in 9th spot siting nicely on 27 points made up from seven wins, six draws and seven defeats. There last six games have shown the same mixed bag of results producing nine points. Wins over West Ham and Bournemouth. Draws with Southampton, Brighton and Watford and a defeat at Newcastle, all bottom half clubs.

The Eagles are likely to hold onto a mid table position for the rest of the season based around tight encounters with few goals either scored or conceded.

There are likely to be more changes based around rotation considering the busy holiday period and of course subject to any knocks. I did like the look of the changes against Spurs, Lewis brought loads of energy and the vision, control and time created by Vrancic was excellent.

Subject to VAR, I foresee a different outcome to recent home games, 1-0 result either way.

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