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Season 2015/16

Norwich v City: Opposition View

  • 09 January 2016 09:55
  • Posted by @roline_mcfc
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Ahead of Saturday's trip to Carrow Road, we quizzed a fan of the Canaries on their thoughts and predictions...

This week's supporter is Peter Raven (@pinkun). Here's what he had to say...

How are you feeling ahead of the game?

Relaxed. It's a win-win situation for Norwich City. Lose - like everyone is expecting us to - then it's the cliche of concentrating on the league.

Win and it's a fairly major scalp - it's been a long time since we've had a cup run, and a cup victory keeps a winning run going which can only breed confidence.

What have you made of Norwich’s season so far?

City are exactly where I expected them to be. Failure to turn draws into three points against Stoke and West Ham earlier in the season has been levelled out recently with that win at Old Trafford and draws at home to Arsenal and Everton.

Coupled with our current run of three wins out of four putting us six points clear of the bottom three then it's so far so good at the halfway point.

How do you expect the Canaries to line-up? Who will play and in what formation?

It's impossible to predict an Alex Neil side in the league, let alone the cup, but I imagine both teams will bring in fringe players.

Expect to see City line up with four at the back, four in the middle (with one protecting the defence), and an attacking midfielder supporting a lone striker.

It used to be a case of John Ruddy missing the cup games with Declan Rudd stepping in but the roles should be reversed on Saturday following Rudd's recent impressive performances between the sticks after Ruddy's omission from the team due to a loss of form.

We're very thin on the ground when it comes to centre-backs so expect to see either Bennett or Bassong make way for Russell Martin moving into the middle and Steven Whittaker at right-back.

In midfield, it's an ideal opportunity to give Mulumbu and Odjadji-Ofoe some much-needed game time to improve their match fitness. Don't expect to see Wes Hoolahan - he'll be saved for Stoke away midweek.

Upfront is anyone's guess - pick one from Mbokani, Jerome, Grabban, Loza or even Northern Ireland's goalscoring sensation Kyle Lafferty.

Where do you think the key battles will take place on the pitch? Who should both teams be wary of?

This is a difficult one to call given both teams are likely to make changes for the cup. Whoever Alex Neil picks in central midfield to protect the defence - O'Neil, Tettey, Mulumbu or Dorrans - will have their work cut out.

Any opposition should be wary of our very own David Silva in Wes Hoolahan but I think he'll be rested for the more important league game at Stoke next week. 

Odjidja-Ofoe has impressed in his brief appearances for the club, notably when he came on against Southampton and played a major part in the win, so keep an eye on him.

As for Manchester City, I'm not sure where to begin. De Bruyne, Silva and Aguero stand out but Toure always seems to cause us more problems than most.

On the back of two successive – and crucial – wins and a recent victory at United, would you say the Canaries can head into the game full of confidence?

I don't see why not. The team is full of confidence now given the recent run and home form has picked up - City haven't lost at Carrow Road since that 1-0 defeat to West Brom in October.

In front of our own fans we have every chance of an upset. The fact that we came so close to snatching a point at the Etihad in October is also worth remembering given the scorelines we've endured there in the past.

A win on Saturday would only add to the positive vibes already in evidence around Carrow Road.

How much importance are the Club and fans placing on the tie?

Not a great deal. A win will keep the good run going and help boost confidence within the team but Norwich City fans are used to early exits in the FA Cup and we had our fun at Wembley last season with that play-off victory.The games at Stoke and Bournemouth later in the month matter more to us.

Norwich legend Jeremy Goss has backed the Canaries to avoid relegation. Do you agree with his comments?

Definitely. The man knows what he's talking about. His comments on Alex Neil not standing for any 'big time Charlies' in his squad is key to a team spirit that can keep us up.

I would be disappointed if, come the end of the season, we're not above Villa, Sunderland, Swansea and Bournemouth.

What are your views on Norwich as a club? Is your opinion shared by the majority of Canaries fans?

I think the majority of Norwich City fans see the club as extremely well-run. It really is at the heart of the city - there's no other club at a high level for miles around (the nearest being Spurs) - so its ties with the community should not be under-estimated.

We don't have a billionaire owner so we're always going to struggle in the top flight but having people at the top that are fans of the club goes a long way. 

Dare to cast a score prediction?

2-1 to Man City

Read more of Peter's thoughts on the clash here.

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