Norwich City -v- Cardiff City
Friday, 14th Jan 2011 09:07
The Canaries and the Bluebirds will do battle tomorrow to see which team will rule the roost.
Dave Jones' Cardiff City sit in second place in the league, one place above Paul Lambert's Norwich City, level on points but with one goal difference to their advantage.
It is quite likely that Jones' team are starting to wobble, as his teams are inclined to do whenever the prize heaves into view. Wolves, for example, and a victorious Norwich in the 2002 play-off semi finals did not endear Norwich to Dave Jones.
Last season saw Cardiff reach the play-off final, only to lose out to Blackpool by two goals to three.
The 2008-2009 season saw the Bluebirds finish just outside the play-off places in seventh place.
Perhaps not the crash and burn of Wolves almost a decade ago, but definitely a wobble of the kind that a youngster would have on his third bicycle ride.
Cardiff certainly wobbled a bit over recent games, losing by four goals to one to Watford at Vicarage Road and losing by three golas to nil to Bristol City at Ashton Gate.
Jones has tried to rally his players by making a big deal out of a two goals to one victory over fifth placed Leeds United at home in the Cardiff City Stadium. The winner only coming in the dying moments of the game.
They did manage a one-all draw with Stoke in the FA Cup, so there might be signs of recovery, but apart from that game, Cardiff have lost their last four games away from home. It is that wobble that can and must be exploited.
Jones will try to bolster his squad by pointing out that Norwich has only won three of their last four home league games, having lost to Portsmouth on 11 December.
Jones will not even mention that Norwich only falters against what might be seen as "weaker" opposition, managing very well with the higher-placed clubs.
As Neil Warnock would attest to, if he can stop himself from spitting feathers for long enough.
So far as statistics go, there has been 43 League matches played between the two sides, and Norwich are definitely in the driving seat with 24 victories. Six draws between the sides leaves just 13 wins to Cardiff City. The Yellows have fronted the Welshmen in just one FA Cup match, which Norwich won, and two League Cup matches with one draw and one win to the Pride of East Anglia.
Over the last 10 games in all competitions Cardiff City have won three, drawn two and lost five. Norwich has won five, drawn two and lost three.
Current form (six games) sees Cardiff placed in 16th position and Norwich third.
Cardiff's Jay Bothroyd's 13 goals is currently in second place in the league's highest scorers, with Grant Holt in joint sixth place with 10 goals to his credit.
On the face of it, Norwich City would seem to have the upper hand, but with City Hall-of-Fame star, Craig Bellamy due to play his first competitive match at Carrow Road since leaving the club a decade ago, is out to put the spoilers on a Carrow Road victory celebration.
A warm welcome will no doubt greet Craig Bellamy, but maybe not so warm for former Norwich goalkeeper, David Marshall. Following relegation to Division One, Marshall told reporters that the players that were responsible for dragging the club down should stay put to get them back up. Then promptly shot through at the first offer to escape.
Photo: Action Images
Please report offensive, libellous or inappropriate posts by using the links provided.
You need to login in order to post your comments
Norwich City Polls