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It is minnows versus giants at Carrow Road this Saturday and with Norwich getting ready for the visit of Manchester City, they will hope that Pep Guardiola’s men have a very rare day off in East Anglia.
Because for Norwich to get anything out of this encounter, each of the men that manager Dean Smith calls upon are going to have to be at their absolute best and even that might not be good enough to get the better of Manchester City.
When tipping Manchester City in any Premier League encounter, the narrative is usually a case of them earning a victory but more importantly, what will the margin of victory be at the final whistle?
Of course, City are more than capable of putting a hatful of goals past Norwich this weekend, but this is also a Norwich side that is starting to find a decent run of form and may be a tougher nut to crack than first thought.
Which is why Pep Guardiola will not have it as easy as he would like and that is why I am putting my money on a City win and under 2.5 total goals. Something that is currently priced at 16/5 with LeoVegas .
Before Norwich’s visit of Crystal Palace on Wednesday night, it is fair to say that the mood within the Canaries camp is a good one and with back-to-back league wins under their belt, they have also found safe passage to the next round of the F.A. Cup.
Passage that came courtesy of a somewhat upset win over Wolves last Saturday and although that success at Molineux will pay out nothing in the way of league points, it will at least continue the momentum that is currently being cultivated at Carrow Road.
Momentum that could either be halted or further increased by the time they deal with Palace on Wednesday and after Newcastle picked up maximum points the evening before, it means Dean Smith’s men go into their own midweek action lying in the bottom three.
Although their performance against Patrick Vieria’s Palace side will go some way to defining how they fare at the end of the season, the visit of Manchester City this Saturday evening certainly will not.
Which means the arrival of Pep Guardiola’s all-stars, is one that could largely be considered a free hit for Norwich and if lady luck can smile on them, the unthinkable could once again happen at Carrow Road.
In terms of injuries and suspensions for the visit of Manchester City, it is good news for Norwich manager Dean Smith and that news comes in the shape of no injuries or suspensions for the weekend.
At the time of writing, Manchester City have gone unbeaten in their last 13 Premier League outings and although they would have loved to win each and every one of those encounters, their impressive streak was ended at the hands of Southampton.
Now though, it is time for the blue half of Manchester to go on another awe-inspiring run and if they can get the better of Brentford in midweek, it would have meant that the first hurdle will have been cleared.
Which if we make the slight assumption that City get three points on Wednesday, it means Norwich will act as the second hurdle to clear and with Liverpool now breathing down their necks once again, the defending Premier League champions can no longer relax.
Admittedly there is a healthy buffer between the two teams that are managed by Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp respectively and if City keep doing what they have largely been doing, then Liverpool will eventually run out of games in which to catch them.
Then again, if City do end up taking their foot off the gas, Liverpool will be in a perfect position to chase them down and that is why, Saturday’s trip to Norwich is as important as any other Premier League away day.
In terms of injuries and suspensions for the trip to Norwich, while the same can also be said for Manchester City and with Pep Guardiola able to call upon all his star names, that could also mean bad news for Norwich at the same time.
As far as the history of these two sides are concerned, it has pretty much been one-way traffic and with Manchester City being a dominant force in recent times, they tend to always have Norwich’s number at the same time.
In terms of their overall head-to-head record, Norwich have won on 10 occasions, Manchester City 38 and there have been 23 draws
When it comes to Carrow Road, it is a ground that has been largely unchanged in recent times and although their capacity does not swell in numbers, Norwich supporters can always be considered a rather vociferous bunch.
With COVID-19 restrictions being lifted in England, it means there is no longer the need to show a Vaccine Passport before attending the ground. Which means, match tickets are the only item that is required to be produced at the time of writing.
All signs point to a Manchester City win on Saturday and in fairness, those signs are likely right. Then again, Pep Guardiola has come unstuck here before and that 3-2 defeat in September 2019, will still play on his mind.
Which is why the Premier League is the best league in the world and although City will go into this game as huge and underlying favourites, they have been caught out by the tight confines of Carrow Road in the past. Now they need to make sure it does not happen again.