How confident are you ahead of Sunday’s derby game?
Very, not at all? I think I’m somewhere in between, if I’m honest.
Lots Of City fans that I know though are not at all confident that Norwich can go into the bear pit that is Portman Road and come away undefeated.
Last weekend against Leeds, I was thoroughly dismayed come full time at what I had seen from the opposition and our reaction to that.
City had started fast and looked much the better team, at least for the first fifteen minutes anyway. After that, we conceded a goal against the run of play and five minutes later, another goal keeping error saw the game effectively over.
For the first time, in my reckoning, I thought that Daniel Farke didn’t know what to do about it either. He reacted far too late to Leeds in the second half and let them get the third goal before he made a move in terms of substitutes or tactics.
After that despair on Saturday evening, I didn’t expect too much from Cardiff away but typical Norwich, we only go and win it.
Admittedly it was a second string against a second string and Cardiff’s replacements were particularly poor but there were plenty of positives from a Canary perspective.
I’ve already spoken in a previous article (which you can read here) about the decisions that Daniel Farke has to make before the derby but I’d be surprised if our head coach makes too many changes because that’s not the way he rolls.
There’s an argument for going with experience in these games and of course I get that but if I was in charge, I think I’d be making some changes. Emi Buendia, Max Aarons and Michael McGovern would all be in my thinking.
I read this week that Robert Green made his Norwich debut aged 19 against Ipswich. It doesn’t get any bigger than that in arguably the most important position on the pitch. That’s why I wouldn’t worry about Max Aarons replacing Ivo Pinto and let’s be honest, he is surely Ivo’s successor in waiting, isn’t he?
I imagine that Farke will stick with his favoured away formation of 4-2-3-1 while playing the 4-1-4-1 at home. The improved start to last season, after the first international break, centered around the holding midfield pairing of Tom Trybull and Alex Tettey. I don’t think it was any coincidence that they both played together at Cardiff and I’m guessing that was a bit of a practice for the derby.
In terms of what to expect from Ipswich, they are a bit of an unknown. They’ve started poorly although from what I understand they were unlucky not to get something at Hillsborough last week.
The signing on loan of old favourite, Jon Walters will give them a lift and Paul Hurst will hope that Walters can give a few pointers to his young squad both on and off the pitch.
Whether he will start isn’t known but it’s probably unlikely and Hurst will most likely keep him on the bench as an impact sub.
This is all entirely unpredictable, of course, but one thing is for certain and that is that the Canaries will need to be on it from the first minute to the last. There is a certain lack of derby experience among our squad but most have played in at least one, so should have an idea of what to expect. I imagine that they will have played in other derby games in any case and I doubt that the experience is too different wherever you play from club to club or from country to country.
I am, like every other City fan, desperate not to lose and even better, I’m hoping for an away win. That would see us go into the break with a lift, three more points and most importantly heap the pressure on Hurst and his ponies.