Norwich v Swansea Friday March 8, 19:45 Live on Sky Sports
Norwich aiming to go five points clear
Norwich boss Daniel Farke commended his Canaries for showing true grit as they returned to the Championship summit with a hard-fought 3-1 win at Millwall last Saturday. Victory restored Norwich's two-point lead at the top of the table with goals arriving from Marco Stiepermann, Christoph Zimmermann and Teemu Pukki at The Den.
The Canaries could have gone behind early on as Millwall made the early running, although Farke's charges found their feet and asserted their dominance in the second-half to secure a sixth league success in eight outings. Farke admitted, "We were able to speed up our game in the second-half, but even then there were moments when you have to defend and dig-in."
Few changes are anticipated for Friday night with Scotland midfielder Kenny McLean expected to keep his place alongside Tim Tryball despite the return from injury of Mario Vrancic, Moritz Leitner and Alex Tettey. Timm Klose has been unable to win back his centre-half position, whilst Carlton Morris and midfielder Louis Thompson continue treatment.
Swansea break Bolton's resistance
Swansea stuck two late goals to seal a hard-earned 2-0 home triumph over nine-man Bolton last weekend. The Swans dominated proceedings but Oli McBurnie had a first-half penalty saved before the Trotters saw players dismissed either side of the interval; even so, Graham Potter's men had to wait until 10 minutes from time before breaking the deadlock.
McBurnie pounced from close range before substitute Bersant Celina swept in the decisive second in stoppage-time to give Swansea three points, a result that moves City to within seven points of the Championship's play-off places. Matt Grimes and George Byers impressed in deep-lying playmaking roles with winger Dan James' pace threatening.
Swansea skipper Leroy Fer has suffered a setback in his recovery from injury and will be out of action for the foreseeable future. Wayne Routledge returned to the starting XI last weekend with Jay Fulton having to feature from the bench. Celina will be hoping for a recall but Martin Olsson and Joe Rodon are long-term absentees.
Canaries can fly high
Norwich have suffered a sole reverse in home league football against Swansea since 1948 (W9-D3-L1) and come into this contest having beaten their guests 4-1 in Wales back in November. The Canaries scored three first-half goals in the reverse encounter and will be hoping for similar success on Friday night to cement their position at the top of the table.
Norwich have been chalked up 1.70 favourites to secure a seventh Championship win in nine outings (W6-D1-L1). The Norfolk outfit have W9-D1-L2 when welcoming teams from outside the top-six this season, scoring at least three goals in seven of those 12 tussles. Daniel Farke's charges also average the most attempts at goal from inside the penalty area.
Swansea5.00 went off as 6.00 shots when losing at Leeds in mid-February, one of eight defeats on their travels since relegation (W5-D4-L8). Exclude the bottom-six and the Swans have returned W2-D3-L7 on the road, conceding at least twice in half of those 12 fixtures. The visitors have collected 15 (31%) of their 48-point tally against top-half teams.
Goals expected at Carrow Road
With Norwich so prolific at Carrow Road, it's unsurprising to see Over 2.5 Goals available at just 1.66 quotes. It's proven a profitable formula in 12/17 (71%) matches here with nine encounters (53%) even producing four or more goals. Indeed, the average goals per-game figure stands at a huge 3.76 whilst Expected Goals (xG) per-game sits at a hunky 2.99.
Swansea aren't quite so reliable on the road for goals-based backers with only 11/17 (65%) away days seeing two or more goals and barely half creeping over the 2.5 goal line. Nevertheless, xG has the Swans' games as guests in for 2.71 per-game, whilst 12 of their last 17 Championship contests anywhere have paid out for Both Teams To Score hunters.
There's value to support a home success alongside a high-scoring showdown with Betfair Sportsbook's Same Game Multiallowing us to take a Norwich win with Over 1.5 Goalsfor a 9/10 shot. The selection has returned profit in eight of the Canaries' 11 home triumphs.
Mark O’Haire says: back Norwich to win and and Over 1.5 Goals @ 9/10 in Norwich v Swansea