Something for the Weekend: Canaries running out of time

Two Portuguese attackers on a high and how it's now or never for Norwich make Jamie Pacheco's five things to look out for at the weekend...

Fernandes making up for lost time

It's obviously early days but the initial signs are that Bruno Fernandes could be a big hit at Manchester United. He could be the missing link in the jigsaw that gives United a good shot at securing fourth place in the league, a good run in the Europa League and decent stab at making the latter stages of the FA Cup.
But if you want to be really critical, it's worth asking the question of United's money men: why did it take them so long? Even if Paul Pogba had been fit all season, the Frenchman could have played in the so-called 'number eight' role with either Scott McTominay or Nemanja Matic playing behind and Fernandes given license to roam in front of them. A pretty tasty midfield three right there.
Fernandes could also have played as one of the two wide men in attack or as the more advanced member of a diamond formation. Whatever system United chose to play, Fernandes would easily have fitted into it.
Instead, they let another transfer window go past (the summer one) without signing a player who wanted to leave, from a club who were willing to let him go for the right price. All a bit unnecessary given that for all of United's problems, one of them isn't money.
But it's not worth crying over spilt milk and Fernandes has the chance to make it two in two this weekend when United are away at Everton.
It's 13/5 he scores again.

Henderson, the Liverpool Kingpin

It's one of the big truths of life that you only tend to miss things when they're gone. Or in the case of Jordan Henderson, missing as a result of a hamstring injury that will keep him out of action until mid-March.
In Henderson's absence on Monday night, Liverpool just weren't at the races for large periods of the game and failed to dominate the midfield, which is one of the secrets of their success. They were also a tad lethargic, gave the ball away too much and didn't press quite as well.
They have a poor error from Lukas Fabianski and the attacking exploits of Trent Alexander-Arnold to thank for winning the game. It makes you wonder whether they might be a bit vulnerable till Henderson comes back and that a price of 1.46 might be worth taking on when they travel to Watford.
It also makes you think that maybe a quote of 4.40 that Henderson is voted PFA Player of the Year isn't that ridiculous, after all.

Canaries feeling very caged

Norwich aren't so much drinking in last-chance saloon right now as they are sitting at a stool within the establishment that has their name printed on it.
They're six points off nineteenth, seven off safety and it's odds of 1.07 that that's too many points to make up, and that they go down.
The vultures will be eyeing up players who impressed this season such as Teemu Pukki, Todd Cantwell and Emiliano Buendia and will surely pounce if the Canaries are relegated and need to sell off some of their best assets.
Having said all that, they're not down just yet and three points against an out-of-form Leicester on Friday nighta 4.80 chance, would give their confidence and overall chances a huge boost.

Jota's progress being monitored

Diogo Jota is the second Portuguese player to feature in today's column. Hardly surprising given he's fresh from scoring a hat-trick in the Europa League last week followed by a brace (and an assist) against Norwich at the weekend.
Apparently, Manchester United might be interested and if they went in for him, he'd be the first high-profile player to be the subject of a serious bid since Wolves were promoted at the start of last season. It will be interesting to see how much he's valued at and how Nuno Espirito Santos and Wolves would feel about such a bid.
His stock will carry on rising if he carries on scoring and assuming he starts again, he'll have a decent chance of doing so away at Tottenham. It's 11/4 he can get a goal.

Brighton v Palace not the game for goals

If it's goals you like to see, it might be worth giving Brighton v Crystal Palace a miss.
Just 14% of Brighton's home games this season have gone over 2.5 goals and for Palace away games, the figure stands at 46%. That included a run of six straight matches on the road for Palace where the 2.5 goals barrier wasn't broken. Brighton are themselves on a run of five games at home that have gone 'unders'.
No wonder a sixth in a row is just 1.70.

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