Date Saturday 14th February
Kick off 3pm
Venue Carrow Road
After Wolves unbeaten 2015 run ended against Reading, the boys in Gold and Black responded in the best way possible away to Huddersfield. Winning 4-1 at the John Smith’s stadium, Kenny Jackett will have been delighted to see Afobe and Dicko linking up effectively and both getting on the score sheet. Despite his inexperience at this level Afobe seems to have settled very well at the club and is already going some way to showing why Wolves were willing to pay £2 million for the former Arsenal striker.
Prior to Tuesday’s win, Wolves have been less adventurous going forward and have seemed content on only winning matches by a goal or two. Against Huddersfield however, Wolves appeared to be much more open, with Afobe instead of Dave Edwards linking the midfield and attack behind Nouha Dicko.
It will be interesting if Wolves continue with this style against Norwich as it did make Wolves more vulnerable to opposition attacks. Huddersfield had 31 shots on Tuesday and with no disrespect to The Terriers, better opposition will be more clinical given that many chances. Considering Norwich are the highest scorers at home in the division, it will be interesting to see whether Jackett goes out to out-score The Canaries or tries to contain them and edge victory.
The only possible changes there might be to the team that started against Huddersfield might be a recall for Golbourne if he is fully fit at left back and possibly James Henry coming in for Van La Parra. The Flying Dutchman still divides opinion among Wolves fans for his inconsistent displays and Jackett might be tempted to play the more dependable Henry instead. On the other hand Van La Parra excelled on his debut against Norwich in August and will back himself to repeat his first performance for the club.
Our opponents on Valentine’s Day Norwich sit one place above us in the league and have lost one in their last five games. Considering their superior goal difference to Brentford, they would expect to be in the top 6.
Following relegation from the Premier League, Norwich’s main aim this season will have been an immediate return to the top flight. After struggling to breaking into the upper echelons of the Championship, they sack Neil Adams and replaced him with Hamilton Academical boss Neil Alexander. Alexander appears to have given the team a new lease of life and are showing why not too long ago, they were playing the likes of Chelsea and Arsenal.
The last time Wolves and Norwich played each other was in the opening match of the season for the two teams. Wolves won that day thanks to a Dave Edwards header as Wanderers won 1-0. Norwich looked unsure of their new league surroundings whereas Wolves looked to continue their title-winning form from the previous campaign and it will be intriguing how both teams play with two thirds of the season completed.
Nathan Redmond, despite his age, has shown that he is a cut above Championship level. The 20 year old stayed with the club following relegation and if the Canaries don’t get promoted, the former Birmingham City winger will most likely be snapped up by a top division side.
Cameron Jerome has shown that although he probably isn’t good enough for a premier league side, Jerome is a very good player at this level. Another former Blue’s player, Jerome has 14 goals so far this season and will give the Wolves centre backs a lot to think about
Richard Stearman has been in fine form the past few weeks, earning him a nomination for Championship player of the month. Often one to get stick from some sections of Molineux, Stearman has silence many of his critics in recent weeks with some exceptional defensive work.
David Evans Norwich 2–1 Wolves
Luke Reegan 4-1 (either team)
Rob Fletcher Norwich 1-1 Wolves
Stu Hall Norwich 1-3 Wolves
Wolves win 7/2
Norwich Win 4/2
Cameron Jerome 9/2
Gary Hooper 9/2
Nouha Dicko 7/1
Benik Afobe 15/2
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