Considering the fact that two divisions kept these sides apart last year, it’s quite incredible to see how this season has panned out for both of these clubs. Brentford have taken to this level like a duck to water and sit in 5th position, but they could be overtaken by their opponents on Saturday with Norwich now just three points behind them with a superior goal difference.
However, it’s only recently that the Canaries have started to put some form together. It would be fair to say that Neil Adams’ tenure at Carrow Road wasn’t overly successful, yet his successor Alex Neil has enjoyed a fantastic set of opening games. He has masterminded two victories from his opening two games and when you consider the fact that Bournemouth and Cardiff made up these opponents, it’s a remarkable turnaround. It means that Norwich will definitely find themselves in the top six with a victory this weekend, with their goal difference meaning that they will at least leapfrog their opponents by netting the three points.
Even though Norwich appear to be starting a good run of form, don’t be under the impression that Brentford will be pushovers. The Bees have seemingly put those three consecutive defeats over December and January behind them and just like their opponents, they also approach this game after back-to-back wins. It means that the club are just four points away from the automatic promotion positions and considering their League One status last term, this is a remarkable achievement. Furthermore, Mark Warburton’s men have some sterling away form behind them. They’ve won four of their last six games on the road, which is exactly the type of record they need to be taking when faced with this tricky trip to Norfolk.
In terms of team news, Norwich will again have to be without midfielder Jonny Howson who sits this game out through suspension. It could get worse for the Canaries in other areas as well, with Alex Tettey and Ryan Bennett both classed as doubts for the fixture. Brentford on the other hand will have another option amongst their forward line, with Chris Long vying for a start after signing from Everton on loan. However, the Bees do have a couple of absentees, with Nick Proschwitz and Alan Judge both out on the sidelines due to respective ankle and knee problems.
As for a prediction, we think this could be the first occasion where Alex Neil drops points as a manager in English football. He’s up against a Brentford side who have performed well on the road this term and when you take this into account, our tip is going to be a tightly-fought 1-1 scoreline at Carrow Road this weekend.