Norwich City and Leicester City are set to engage in a thrilling clash in the Championship on Wednesday evening, with both teams aiming to maintain pressure on league leaders Preston North End.
The Canaries and Foxes currently occupy the fourth and second positions respectively in the standings, having collectively secured nine wins from 12 matches in the second tier.
Following their defeat to Rotherham United before the international break, Norwich manager David Wagner was determined to see his team bounce back against Stoke City last Saturday.
Although Norwich didn’t showcase their usual attacking prowess, they managed to secure a 1-0 victory at Carrow Road thanks to a goal by Jack Stacey just before halftime.
Norwich boasts one of the two perfect home records in the division, the other being held by leaders Preston, and Wagner will be pleased with the 13 points accumulated from their six fixtures so far.
However, Wagner understands that there is still much work to be done to maintain their promotion push.
Nonetheless, the team and fans may find it refreshing to play with lower expectations compared to the previous season.
Norwich has already faced one recently-relegated Premier League side this season, securing a thrilling 4-4 draw against Southampton. However, Leicester demonstrated a more ruthless streak in their own fixture.
Coinciding with Norwich’s loss to Rotherham, Leicester surprisingly suffered their first defeat of the season in a home game against Hull City. This result left manager Enzo Maresca with plenty to ponder during the break.
Despite having a talented squad at his disposal, Maresca’s side hadn’t scored more than twice in a single Championship fixture since his arrival. However, this changed when they faced Southampton at St Mary’s last week.
With Jamie Vardy scoring just 21 seconds into the match, Leicester went on to secure a convincing 4-1 victory. All four goals were scored in the first three quarters of the game, showcasing their attacking prowess.
Leicester has triumphed in all three of their away league fixtures this season, with victories against Huddersfield Town and Rotherham.
Maresca will see this match as an opportunity to make another statement against a potential title rival.
Norwich City Championship form:
W D W W L W
Norwich City form (all competitions):
W W W W L W
Leicester City Championship form:
W W W W L W
Leicester City form (all competitions):
W W W W L W
Norwich will be without midfielder Marcelino Nunez, who sustained an ankle injury during the international break.
However, manager Wagner is confident that Greece international Dimitris Giannoulis will be fit for the game, despite a thigh issue.
Adam Idah is expected to retain his spot in attack, with Hwang Ui-jo likely to remain on the bench, resulting in an unchanged starting lineup.
Having had an extra day of recovery, Leicester’s Maresca may decide to field the same XI that achieved victory over Southampton.
Chelsea loanee Cesare Casadei could feature after playing 32 minutes in the previous match, but he may have to wait for his first Championship start this season.
Maresca might consider recalling Kelechi Iheanacho ahead of Vardy if he feels the team requires a stronger physical presence in attack.
Possible Starting Lineups:
Stacey, Duffy, Gibson, Giannoulis;
Fassnacht, Barnes, Rowe;
Justin, Vestergaard, Doyle, Pereira;
Ndidi, Winks, Dewsbury-Hall;
McAteer, Vardy, Mavididi
Prediction: Norwich City 2-3 Leicester City
With both teams possessing attacking prowess, this match promises to be an entertaining encounter.
While Norwich will have confidence in securing a victory that could move them ahead of their opponents, Leicester’s recent performance against Southampton suggests that their superior class may eventually prevail in the closing stages.