Championship Preview: Norwich City vs Cardiff City

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The second of two posts from Kyle Goldsmith this evening, as he previews the Championship encounter between Norwich City and Cardiff City, two teams who were relegated from the Premier League in 2013-14.

Cardiff City fans will make the long trip across Wales and England to visit Norwich this weekend. Buoyed by their recent change back to blue, they’ll hope to see something they’ve only seen once so far this season; an away win. Meanwhile on the other side Norwich will also be hoping to carry on the momentum from last weekends superb victory at top of the table Bournemouth.

After Neil Adams resigned as Norwich manager, Alex Neil took over and they put a twist in the promotion race by winning 2-1 at league leaders Bournemouth, who before that defeat had lost just once in their last 18. Norwich sit in 7th, just three points off the play-offs. If Norwich can put together a run of results then they could be the side who goes into the play-offs with the momentum. Norwich are the third top scorers in the division, and they also have a fairly good defence too. They have the ingredients to push for promotion.

Cardiff go into the game with a renewed sense of identity and belonging after controversial owner Vincent Tan decided to finally change the club colours back to blue from red after a year of prolonged protests about the switch. Following this Cardiff fans were further boosted as they picked up their first league win since November, beating Fulham 2-1. This victory eased the pressure on manager Russell Slade. Cardiff’s main problem this year has been their away form, or lack of it. They’ve won just once away from Cardiff all season, coming at Watford in November. They have the third least away wins in the whole league, with lowly Blackpool and Leeds having less. However, this could be a different Cardiff we see on Saturday. With this renewed passion and motivation, could they push on to the play-offs or is it just out of reach?

Key Men

Norwich – Cameron Jerome/Wes Hoolahan

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A huge part of Norwich’s great scoring rate has been striker Cameron Jerome. The former Birmingham and Stoke player is the fourth top goal scorer in the league, with a tally of 13. He scored the brilliant winner at Bournemouth last week, and Norwich fans will be hoping for the same again.

Cardiff – Peter Whittingham

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One of Cardiff’s key players for a number of years, Whittingham is still one of the best players in the Championship at the age of 30. One of Cardiff’s main strengths is the height in their squad, and combined with Whittingham’s exquisite delivery of set-pieces, Cardiff are a force to be reckoned with at corners and free kicks.

Last Meeting (13th September 2014-Cardiff 2-4 Norwich)

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Cardiff led 2-0 at half time but Norwich amazingly came back to win 4-2 at the Cardiff City Stadium. This put the Canaries second, only held off the top by Forest on goal difference.

Fact

Norwich have won 27 games in the head-to-head, with Cardiff winning just 14.

Prediction

I think the game will finish 2-2, with Norwich being the unhappier side. Cardiff would give anything for a win, but Norwich will be too hard to beat. Goals are guaranteed.

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