Norwich City entertain Millwall at Carrow Road this afternoon (3pm) with the game potentially being “a dish best served cold.”
It was late August when the Canaries were mauled by the Lions (sorry) 4-0 at the Den and it was a bit of a watershed moment. The following international break gave Daniel Farke time to regroup and work on a “new” 4-2-3-1 formation. Crucially he also got Timm Klose, Tom Trybull and Alex Tettey back fit and in the side and that helped enormously as far as conceding goals went.
What followed was a brief rally of matches that took us up to sixth in the table before a slump of only 2 wins in 12 games. It`s been very up and down this season, to say the least. It looks as though our outside hopes of a promotion tilt were done by Christmas, meaning the next half of the season is likely to be a slog through mid-table, possibly worse if some consistency can`t be found.
Today though, there`s a chance at personal redemption for some of those players involved in the drubbing at the Den as Millwall come to the Fine City.
In terms of team news, Harrison Reed will almost certainly not be available, just 48 hours after being forced off against Burton with a dead leg and a hip problem. His replacement, Alex Tettey, whose knees were getting a rest had to play two thirds of the game but fingers crossed he can play again today.
Josh Murphy, Jamal Lewis and Timm Klose were all unused substitutes in that game and I would expect them to all return to the starting XI today. The same goes for Alex Pritchard and James Maddison, who both made late cameo appearances at the Pirelli Stadium.
On the opposition side, we can expect to see ex-Canary Steve Morison, who scored the winning goal for the Lions against QPR on Friday night – that doesn`t bode well.
As well as Canary minds might turn to revenge though, this is another game that has “Along come Norwich” written all over it as Neil Harris` Millwall look to achieve a first away win of the season. Winning away from home hasn`t been a problem for Norwich this term, all of our problems have been at home, rather bizarrely.
A lack of pace in the build up and visiting teams doing their homework have stopped City at home from being much of a threat, something that has to change.
The Carrow Road crowd are restless and public displays of dissent against Delia and Michael started in earnest against Brentford. That`s not very Norwich and it`s not something we`ve seen in these parts for many a year.
I expect the board will be desperate for an upturn in results because that is the only thing that will stop the “Delia Out” chants.
Looking at the stats surrounding Millwall and away fixtures this season makes for dismal reading. As I mentioned, they don`t have an away win to their name this season and have also failed to score a single away goal past the 50th minute in 2017/18 and they`ve only managed that once.
They also haven`t won at Carrow Road in the last 19 fixtures between the two clubs (L12 D7).
It`s not until you look at the table and note that a win today would see them leapfrog Norwich in the table that you realise how bad we have been too.
So please Mr Farke, can we have something different today? Instead of the ponderous, slow and predictably dull football, can we have an injection of exciting attacking football?
I`m asking for 26,000 friends.