Competition: Premier League – Norwich City vs. Manchester City
Venue: Carrow Road – Saturday, March 12 – 12:45 GMT (07:45 EST)
Match Odds: Norwich 5/1 – Draw 29/10 – Manchester City 4/7
The Canaries are struggling to get clear of the bottom three and are conceding too many goals in the process. Stopping teams from scoring goals has been a problem all season and the recent 5-4 home loss to Liverpool typified their defensive struggles.
They are only one point adrift of Sunderland, who are currently safe, but more alarmingly, they are nine points off 16th-placed Swansea. It looks set to be a four-horse battle for survival and Norwich are in trouble.
Losing seven of their last eight matches in the Premier League is quite frankly shocking and Alex Neil will need a win sooner rather than later as he knows draws aren’t enough at this stage.
Manchester City ended a three-game losing streak in the league with a win against Aston Villa last Saturday to slightly revive their title hopes. Despite that victory, they are still ten points adrift of Leicester but do have a valuable game in hand.
City are the joint top scorers this year, which only highlights how bad they have been defensively. The frailties at the back should be less of concern now, though, since captain Vincent Kompany has returned from injury and looks sharp.
Things are looking up for City at the moment after a tough period for the club. They lifted the League Cup and look set to advance in the Champions League. On top of that, they are seeing players return to fitness at the right time of the year. With the quality they have, they cannot be ruled out of the title race just yet.
Norwich may be without Sebastien Bassong and Andre Wisdom, who are both doubtful for the weekend. Steven Naismith, Alex Tettey and Robbie Brady are all out.
Manchester City are without Fabian Delph, Samir Nasri and Kevin De Bruyne, who are all expected back early from injury in early April.
Norwich’s last five: L/D/L/L/L
Manchester City’s last five: W/L/L/L/W
Key Stat: Manchester City are unbeaten in their last five away trips to Carrow road, winning four and drawing the other.
Key Player: Sergio Aguero – The Argentine frontman is by far the most influential player in the City squad and his goals have already helped the club to two Premier League titles. They’ll need him on top form to challenge for a third this season. He has five goals in his last five games against Norwich in the league and will expect to get on the scoresheet on Saturday.
Norwich 0-3 Manchester City – It seems harsh, but Norwich are not a good football team team at the minute, based on recent form, and so we cannot see City dropping any points here. Norwich’s best hope would be for a draw, and even the chances of that result seem slim. City should cruise to victory and keep their faint title hopes alive.