Expectations of Norwich City fans, with the minimal exception of mega confident fanatics, were exceeded at the King Power Stadium last weekend.
The team were well drilled and everyone played their part. Not only was the attacking threat of Leicester reduced to a status of ‘controlled’, but the Canaries were also able to apply pressure themselves and create plenty of opportunities.
The production and result did not match either clubs form guide over the last ten games.
It was another superb City finish with Tryball breaking up the midfield and releasing Buendia to thread a quality ball onto Teemu’s run, touch and sublime finish which nestled into the far post leaving Schmeichel rooted to the spot.
Once again City were undone by a set-piece and the front post movement of the other class striker on the pitch, Jamie Vardy. The soft Norwich City underbelly continues to setback results.
Pukki’s toe injury appears not to be a fracture, however, soreness and bruising still might keep him off the pitch. With Josip Drimic being out until January, it leaves Dennis Srbeny to lead the line and hopefully produce goals similar to one he got at Everton and the brace at Cardiff in the League Cup last season.
The only other option is the untried Irish under 21 international Adam Idah who possesses 11 caps and four goals. He will probably move to the bench as cover. Beyond that, it will probably be defensive midfielder Ibrahim Amadou leading the line!
Another issue is the rumour that Ben Godfrey is injured. If so, City are in big trouble!
Saturday may provide the opportunity to see old boy Ryan Bennett back at Carrow Road. He has gone on to play over 60 games in a successful Wolves team. It still amazes me how Bennett had to often sit on the City bench and watch fullback Russell Martin playing in his position.
Other players to turn out for both sides include John Ruddy, Grant Holt, Sebastian Bassong, Matt Jarvis, Andrew Surman, Elliott Bennett, Jason Shackell, Ben Marshall and Andy Marshall.
The last meeting was in February 2018 at Molineux when City came from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 through Zimmerman and Nelson Olivera, the latter being a 90th-minute ‘worldie’ from well outside the box which bounced over the outstretched, flapping John Ruddy. Wolves went up as Champions while City finished 12th in Farke’s first season.
The last victory was also in the Championship, this time in January 2017, a 3-1 victory with goals from Steven Naismith, Robbie Brady and Jonny Howson. Helier Costa’s penalty being the only blip that day. City were 10th, Wolves 18th. Another highlight of that game included defender Matt Doherty going in goal after 72 minutes due to a sending off and all the subs having been utilised.
I have been really impressed with Wolves, their manager Nuno Santo and their stylish players continue to perform well and produce excellent results. They have managed to cope well in both the league and Europa League commitments, no mean feat for any non-top-six side. They will now play Espanyol in February having made it through to the last 32 clubs.
I'm predicting at least a draw for City this weekend... CTID