Third-placed Fulham head to Norfolk for some Good Friday football 16 league games unbeaten and brimming with confidence, as they mount a push for the top two. It is safe to assume, therefore, that the Canaries will have to be both resilient in defence and clinical in attack to gain anything from the game.
Norwich have struggled to do both of these things on a consistent basis, but Norwich City fans will expect to see some signs of improvement and reason for optimism as an uninspiring 2017-18 season enters its final stretch. With only pride to play for, Norwich must consider how to break sloppy habits in order to successfully challenge Slavisa Jokanovic’s Fulham side - who may prove vulnerable as promotion pressure mounts.
Fulham’s last outing was a disappointing blot on their recent club record-breaking form, as QPR took advantage of promotion jitters to nick a point after being 2-0 behind. Interestingly enough, a last-minute Nelson Oliveira strike also snatched a point for City in our last meeting with the Cottagers, back in August 2017. Conceding 41 goals, Fulham have the worst defensive record of the top 6, reflecting a tendency to sacrifice comfortable leads. However, Norwich will need key players to keep their heads’ up and not expect Fulham to allow City time on the ball if they are to take advantage.
The Canaries’ goal-scoring record is put to shame by most Championship sides, but Fulham’s tally is particularly enviable. Premier League loanees Aleksandar Mitrovic and Lucas Piazon have made crucial contributions to Fulham’s 66 league goals, only three short of Wolves’ prolific attack (who have already terrorised the City defence at Carrow Road this season). Packed with pace and power, Fulham’s front line would have undoubtedly capitalised on the multiple chances Reading squandered at Carrow Road two weeks ago – most arising from ‘playing out from the back’ when it was not safe to do so. A lesson to be learnt there for City, perhaps.
Also on the City of Yellows Blog:
- Where are City?... Oh another international break
The final dreaded fortnight-long international break is currently with us, and club football action is set to resume again over Easter with Fulham due next at the Carra.
- Nelson Oliveira - No more heroes anymore more?
Ok, so I've tried to shoehorn the tenuous link with 'one of our own' Horatio Nelson and the the great post punk single from the Stranglers. It would however seem that the attacking edge to the Canaries this season has well and truly been strangled?
- What might have been
I have written before about the highs and lows of being a Norwich City fan, but there was a season just before the Premier League which for me highlights the joy and the pain of following the boys in yellow and green.
City and Fulham’s seasons bear little resemblance, but the two sides share one similarity: an exciting English prodigy on their books. Once coached in Fulham’s youth squad by former Norwich boss Peter Grant, 17-year-old midfielder Ryan Sessegnon has bagged 14 goals so far this season for the Cottagers and will likely pose another threat to the Norwich defence - as well as to James Maddison’s prospects for the ‘Young Player of the Year’ award! With both set to start on Friday, the match should provide a little insight into the England national side’s future.
Friday’s game will provide interesting viewing, as City try to divert Fulham’s chase for automatic promotion. To do so, the Canaries will need to leave the mistakes that have plagued them this season behind, as they set about proving to the fans that next season may hold more promise.