At 5.30pm this afternoon, Norwich City will resume Championship hostilities as they welcome Sheffield Wednesday to Carrow Road.
A turgid run of 7 games without a win has seen Daniel Farke`s side tumble down the league from 6th place after beating Ipswich Town to currently occupying 16th place and being 11 points off the top six. It`s worth noting that we are 8 points ahead of the bottom three.
Whilst I don`t think that City will get embroiled in a relegation battle, the form we are currently in suggests otherwise. In terms of a promotion charge, of course it`s still a possibility but 11 points is a big margin to make up. It`s not impossible but the Christmas and New Year matches are going to be a potential tipping point.
Turning my attention back to this afternoon, I`ve been thinking about a team that could beat Sheffield Wednesday and get us three precious points to get things back on track.
The formation would change if I was in charge this afternoon and I would try a 3-4-2-1 with Alex Pritchard returning to start.
So here`s my team:
The system is flexible and when not in possession, the wing backs, Pinto and Stiepermann, can drop in to make a back five. Going forwards, there would be five offensive players pushing on when we do have the ball.
The return of Tom Trybull will be crucial to help with possession of the ball and breaking up play, alongside Reed. In Maddison and Pritchard, we have two ball playing attacking midfielders that can also drop back and help out if needed. The only thing that does concern me slightly is a lack of pace (other than Pinto) and I almost changed Stiepermann for Wildschut but Yanic`s lack of defensive nous prevents that, certainly from the start.
Josh Murphy has been poor in recent weeks, so will have to make do with the bench.
When I first thought about this, I started off with a back three simply because I didn`t want to leave any of those three centre backs out. All three are reliable and strong and Zimmermann continues to impress at this supposedly much higher level than he played in Germany.
Sheffield Wednesday have drawn their last four games and we haven`t been able to score, so something needs to change from a City point of view. Before the Barnsley game I suggested a return to 4-1-4-1 and Daniel Farke only went and played it, didn`t he?!
Whether he tries something as adventurous as this today, I don`t know. Probably not and he may just stick with 4-2-3-1 with Pritchard as one of those attacking three. As long as Pritch plays, we should at least see something different.
We`ll see what Daniel Farke decides to do at 4.30pm. If you`re going, wrap up warm and if you`re watching from home, have a beer and a mince pie for me because I shall be slowly freezing in the stands.