Plenty of passion, teamwork plus some guts and determination will need to be in evidence to win today against Middlesbrough, the Canaries persistence with passing and structure will not be enough against a team run by Tony Pulis.
I had the pleasure of meeting a beautiful girl from Whitely Bay many years ago and as such made plenty of trips up North via either the A1 or A19 to visit her. At night the sight on my left heading south back home to me resembled an massive industrial landscape by day and a strange series of lights by night... beyond that, apparently was Middlesbrough, with culture and employment much different to Norfolk except the chemical plant on Sweetbriar Road in Norwich.
My first thoughts about the 'Boro go back to my teens in the mid seventies and having watched the featured East Anglian game on 'Match of the Week' another region's offering would follow. Occasionally it might be from TyneTees which would offer Newcastle, Sunderland or 'Boro. Ayresome Park with its red stand, seats and barriers looked a really traditional venue and its team always played in all red with the white band around the chest.
The stats over the years suggest the teams are evenly matched, however this is definitely not the case this season. Norwich have only produced one unconvincing league victory this season at home to Preston whilst Middlesbrough in comparison are flying. We were hoping the squad and performances would have improved following Daniel Farke's first season, on paper, maybe it has, on the pitch it definitely has not.
In a nutshell, you will see the team in yellow attempt to keep position in no threatening areas and provide a couple of guilt edged chances to the opposition. City's main threat might be via a set piece coming off.
Having said that, both teams have scored nine goals a piece, at the back the comparison ends, Middlesbrough are very good in that department being marshalled by ex City boy, Daniel Ayala.
Talking of Daniels, whilst the City manger, with his untidy haircut, facial hair and coats is likened to Frank Gallagher from Channel 4 comedy/drama, Shameless. The 'Boro man in charge, continues to 'buy' all his gear from either the club shop or Sports Direct. Having said that, I have a lot of time for Tony, he knows what he doing, he is tried and tested, he is organised and gets the best from this squad and promotion will happen this season.
The 'Smoggies' offer the reliable Grant Leadbitter as Captain, Britt Assombalonga as an accomplished striker, old boy Jonny Howson, who is still missed from our engine room, Paddy McNair and Aden Flint, both who we were interested in, and Rudy Gestede. They also boast five loan players, Danny Bath (Wolves) Jordan Hugill (WHU) Sam McQueen (Southampton) George Saville (Millwall) and Muhamed Besic from Everton.
My prediction is a 2-0 win for Boro.