Two teams hoping to be in and around the playoffs come the business end of the season go head to head at Carrow Road, where Norwich host relegated Sunderland, which kicks off at 13:30.
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We have a great clash on Sunday in the Championship between two clubs who will be aiming for promotion. Both started their season last week with a draw in their opening games, although they did win in the League Cup during midweek.
These are two of the top teams in the division and we should be in for a cracker at Carrow Road.
Norwich build steadily last season, with the aim of targetting promotion this season. They started with a draw last week, although it was a good point away at Fulham, who are also expected to be challenging for promotion. If Norwich can find a way to win this one, they will have picked up four points from a very tough start and I am sure they would be happy with that.
Both sides are under new management and head into Sunday’s Championship clash having drawn their opening games. Simon Grayson has a huge rebuilding job on his hands at Sunderland while Daniel Farke will be looking to climatise to English football sooner rather than later.
The German coach has never managed in England before and the Canaries will be hoping to pick up their first three points of the season. Farke will be pleased to have Steven Naismith available for the first time this season, the Scotland international has served a three match ban after picking up a red card towards the end of last season.
Striker Oliveria could also feature after coming off the bench to grab a late equaliser against Fulham last weekend, while Cameron Jerome bagged during the week in the Carabao Cup. Who’ll start up front for the Canaries on Sunday? Your guess is as good as ours.
Grayson will have selection issues of his own as the Black Cats will be without Bryan Oviedo, Josh Maja, Paddy McNair and Duncan Watmore. But skipper Lee Cattermole is expected to return after being rested during the week.
Daniel Farke will be hoping to maintain Norwich’s excellent home record, having lost just once in their last 12 home league games. Sunderland on the other hand have lost just two of their last 22 league games and have failed to win ten of their last 11 visits to Carrow Road.
Sunderland have lost a few players from the squad that was relegated last season and I think their plan for promotion back to the Premier League will be similar to what Norwich have. That means using this year to build, before challenging for promotion next season.
The Black Cats started their campaign with a 1-1 draw at home to Derby last weekend, a fair result against a very good team. Since then they have managed a 1-0 victory in the League Cup away at Bury but they know they face another tough game now they are back playing Championship opposition.
This will be both a tight game, and a game full of quality, with two of the biggest Championship teams going head to head. I think Norwich have the ability in their squad to win this game, so I am backing them to beat Sunderland on Sunday.
After a good point last weekend, winning this one would give them a very good start to the campaign in their quest for promotion.
Sunderland showed glimpses of potential against Derby, but it’s Norwich who I fancy to bag all three points today.
I’ll be backing Norwich to win and both teams to score at 14/5.
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