Thanks to Richard, editor of Norwich City site City Of Yellows for previewing Saturday's game for us from a Canaries perspective. He’s given us the full lowdown on what Reading should expect at Carrow Road, and why City aren’t doing quite as well as last season.
From what I can see from back here in deepest Norfolk, the Royals (like ourselves) have had a pretty unforgettable season. If you are intending to make the awful west to east journey, you could have a better than average chance of producing a decent reward to take back with with you.
What do the stats tell us?
Firstly, Norwich City have not been great at Carrow Road this season which is really unusual, only five of our 12 wins in the league have been at home! City love to draw and if we can score a goal, which have been rare this season, one successful finish is the best we can hope for. Having said that, we have only lost twice in the last 14 games, although the last eight matches have produced seven draws.
Last season we scored 85 league goals, conceding 69 and finishing eighth. Your boys finished third scoring a miserly 68 goals. However, our new German coach has turned the free scoring Canaries on its head. After 37 games we stand on 38 scored and 42 conceded.
You will witness a City side that is slow with its feet and slow in its head. We will play the ball from the back, provide the ‘Cromer crab’ style of passing across the back and midfield line and maybe get a shot off which will be blocked. Our only real hope for creating any opportunities will be from the future Premiership and England footballer, James Maddison, the next David Beckham. Mark my words, this boy can play football. He has vision, can spin on a sixpence and has a eye for goal as our top goal scorer with current haul of 13.
We then have Josh Murphy who has not lived up to expectations on nine and Nelson Oliveira on eight strikes. Of course you will know all about Madders due to the fantastic free kick he scored at the Madejski Stadium in our 2-1 win in September.
Norwich vs Reading, head-to-head
Historically, the state of play is pretty even. Since our first battle in 1909, City have 27 wins, 18 draws and 29 defeats. Adding to this seasons away win, it’s worth mentioning the 7-1 home victory last year.
Please rest assured this will not be repeated, we are now developing the patience of a saint before we even cross our halfway line, oh I nearly forgot, our favourite formation is three centre backs, two wing backs who get a nose bleed in the opposition half and two holding midfielders who love to be in space, have time to look up and then play a square ball.
This formation is in doubt due to a number of injuries mounting up… Oliveira, Trybull, Leitner, Jarvis, Tettey and Thompson plus a sickness bug is currently running through the camp, Reed and Zimmerman being the latest to suffer.
I predict either a 0-0 or 1-1 draw unless either team can get ahead and then shut up shop. Come early or stay over, Norwich has one of the greatest collection of real ale pubs in the UK and you can walk to the ground from them!
Cheers and On the ball City!