Soccer AM/MW - the home of lively and humorous discussion from the Football and Non Leagues

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Big Match Preview - Hull vs. Norwich

Hull City vs. Norwich City
Saturday March 19, 15:00, KC Stadium

Two sides dreaming of a place in the Premier League next season clash in East Yorkshire this weekend as Hull City entertain high flying Norwich City.

The Tigers are one of a clutch of sides on the fringes of the play offs hoping to put together a late run to snatch a top six berth, while their visitors currently have an eye on automatic promotion lying second.

It's been another great season for the Canaries, who have continued their rise up the ladder after being crowned League One Champions 12 months ago.

Much of their success has to go down to the work of boss Paul Lambert, who has City competing to regain the top flight position they lost six years ago.

The Canaries also boast the division's best away record - with eight victories, seven draws, and just three defeats on the road all season.

Their latest win, a 3-2 success at Leicester, brought an end to Sven-Goran Eriksson's unbeaten home record at the Walkers, and they have achievable notable draws at Nottingham Forest and Leeds.

They are also the one of the few sides to prevent runaway leaders QPR from scoring this season, earning a 0-0 shut out at Loftus Road and defeating the Rs 1-0 back in Norfolk.

In striker Grant Holt, they boast a hard-to-handle striker who has 18 goals to his name this term, and midfielder Wes Hoolahan also has 10 goals too in a free-scoring side, attacking team.

Nigel Pearson's Hull side are mounting a late push for a play off place

It promises to be a stern test for Hull, therefore, who come into the game off the back of extending their unbeaten away record to 14 games with a 1-0 win at Coventry.

That run included finally ending Nottingham Forest's 36 game run without loss at the City Ground, an indication of the danger that Pearson's men will pose to Norwich this weekend.

However, they return to the KC Stadium looking to avoid a third successive home defeat, with a 2-0 loss to Cardiff and 1-0 defeat against Burnley hindering their push for the play offs - they currently sit five points shy of 6th.

Pearson, who guided Leicester into the top six last term before making the move to the banks of the Humber during the summer, will know that they can't afford to drop too many more points at the KC if they are to make the play offs.

Goals have clearly been their problem. While they have only leaked 11 on home soil, their record of 14 goals scored is the worst in the Championship and needs massive improvement.

Their current top scorer is Matty Fryatt with seven. The former Leicester man was a January signing alongside strike partner Aaron McLean who, with three goals himself, was brought in to boost Hull's mediocre attacking threat.

This looks like being a fascinating encounter between Norwich's fluid attacking style against the more pragmatic and gritty Tigers.

Hull's home record has been poor of late though and, given the Canaries are really flying at the moment - especially on the road - I'll go for them to continue their promotion push.

Nobes' Prediction: Hull City 1 Norwich City 2

No comments:

Post a Comment