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Norwich City Match Preview: Fortress Carrow Road

A difficult game looms for Reading as they visit one of the league's best home sides.

Norwich City v Rotherham United - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images

After Reading's 3-1 victory over Blackburn Rovers, their third straight league win, they now face a tough trip to Norwich City. But what should we expect from the game?

The lowdown

Going into Saturday's game at Carrow Road, the Canaries sit 10th in the Championship, 12 points adrift of sixth placed Sheffield Wednesday. Form wise, they're struggling to keep pace with the play-off places, with only two wins in their last ten matches.

Because of that, their play-off hopes are in critical condition, although it is still mathematically possible for them to sneak in before the end of the season.

Last time out, they visited Huddersfield Town, Reading's rivals for third place, but a second half blitz of three goals in seven minutes secured the points for the Terriers.

Norwich's excellent home form

Although Wednesday night's game was another example of Norwich's awful away form this season — the Canaries have only won four times on the road in 2016/17 — they've excelled on their own patch. In fact, if only home results were counted, Norwich would be sixth, not tenth.

In the 19 games played at Carrow Road this campaign, the Canaries have won 12 times, drawn four times and lost on only three occasions. The teams who beat them? Huddersfield Town, Leeds United and Preston North End.

Key to that impressive form has been Norwich's free-scoring attack, which has netted the joint second highest number of home goals this season (41), level with Newcastle and only three behind Brighton and Hove Albion.

In part, that's been driven by the Championship's sixth top goalscorer, Cameron Jerome, who's found the net 14 times in 35 league games.

The spirit of Sheffield Wednesday away

The Sheffield Wednesday game on March 17 is the model performance that Reading will need to emulate if they're to come away with three points at the weekend. In that game, the Royals pinched a 13th minute goal through Yann Kermorgant before surviving an Owls onslaught in the second half.

For all the benefits of Jaap Stam's attractive possession football, grinding out results in the Championship does often come down to the gritter side of the game - getting blocks in, timing challenges well and not making mistakes.

I for one had really worried about Reading's play-off hopes, considering how we've struggled away from home in tough games. However, at Hillsborough, Reading proved me wrong - we could need something very similar at Carrow Road.