While it may not appear it on first glance, this clash between Newcastle and Norwich is sure to a great spectacle for the neutral. Both clubs have experienced indifferent starts to the new campaign but with Norwich boss Chris Hughton poised to visit the club that bizarrely sacked him in 2010, there is likely to be plenty of emotion attached to the game.
While Newcastle may only be positioned in 11th, most supporters will be relatively happy in how the Magpies have approached the season considering the stature of some of their opponents. The club have already faced the likes of Tottenham, Chelsea and Everton and with these outfits being traditionally difficult to beat, their return of five points from four games certainly doesn’t look too bad. Moreover, it at least looks as though Alan Pardew’s men are not hung-over from last term and still look like a side that could challenge for the top places. The fact they have not lost at home this term will also provide a boost ahead of this clash and most fans will be expecting three points to arrive at the Sports Direct Arena this weekend, which would probably push them up into the top half of the table.
Norwich on the other hand will approach this game with great caution as while the Canaries may be sat just a couple of points below their opponents, it has still been a difficult campaign for the Carrow Road outfit. Chris Hughton was always going to have a hugely difficult act to follow after Paul Lambert’s success at the club last term and on first look, it appears as though the club are struggling. Admittedly, they have still just lost the one game after three draws, but there does seem to be a spark missing from the Canaries and it remains to be seen how they will fare in the upcoming weeks. They at least approach this game on an unbeaten run of four games, with their only defeat of the campaign coming on the opening day against Fulham.
The home side could receive a huge boost ahead of the game with influential midfielder Cheick Tiote poised to return for the Magpies after missing most of the campaign with a calf problem. Papiss Cisse has also given them a boost, with the Senegalese striker available for selection after missing the Europa League game through illness. It’s a different story for the visitors meanwhile, with Norwich set to be without three players. They come in the form of Elliott Bennett, Simon Lappin and Steve Whittaker as the trio continue to struggle on the treatment table.
In terms of a prediction, we can only tip a home victory in this clash. Newcastle are far superior on paper to their opponents and bearing this in mind, we think the game will end with a 2-0 victory for Alan Pardew’s men.