Relegation threatened Norwich City welcome high-flying Leicester City to Carrow Road on Friday evening for a game that could define the Canaries’ season. Norwich, currently bottom in the Premier League, are seven points adrift of fourth-from-bottom Aston Villa, and look like making a quick return to the Championship after winning promotion last season. For the Foxes, this game is all about taking a valuable three points away from home, and maintaining their push for a Champions League place.
Daniel Farke’s Norwich side have lost their last two Premier League games, and are winless in their last four league games. In their last Premier League outing, last weekend away at Wolverhampton Wanderers, the Canaries were hammered 3-0, with Farke bemoaning his players’ ability to win vital duels. That lack of combative spirit seems in part to stem from a lack of Premier League experience in the side, something highlighted by midfielder Alexander Tettey this week. Tettey also asserted that the Canaries are learning in every game. Currently, they’re not learning quickly enough, and they desperately need points if they are to avoid relegation.
Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers will be looking for his team to return to winning ways in the Premier League. The Foxes lost 1-0 at home to Manchester City last weekend, and drew their previous two league fixtures, away at Wolves and at home to Chelsea. They also lost to Aston Villa in the recent Carabao Cup semi-final, so a victory would be sweet for City. One man to watch is Leicester striker Jamie Vardy. The former England international has hit 17 goals in the Premier League this season. He is at odds of 3.21 with Paddy Power to be the game’s first goalscorer on Friday evening.
These two sides have met on only five previous occasions in the Premier League, and two of those games were way back in the mid-1990s. They have played each other on plenty of occasions in the last two decades in the Championship, however. In the 2015/16 campaign, Leicester won both of the Premier League encounters, winning 2-1 at Carrow Road and 1-0 at the King Power Stadium later in the season.
The Canaries also travelled to the East Midlands to face Leicester earlier this season. They did well at the King Power on December 14, taking a rare away point in a 1-1 draw. Teemu Pukki opened the scoring for the Canaries after 26 minutes that day, before an own goal from Canaries keeper Tim Krul levelled things up seven minutes before half-time. That draw brought an end to the Foxes’ winning streak of eight Premier League matches. Pukki’s goal was his ninth strike of the season, and astute punters will surely be placing a few bets on the prolific Finn this weekend. His tally for the season is 11 in the Premier League, a total that is supplemented by three assists. Krul made up for his own goal with a superb late save to deny Jamie Vardy and prevent Leicester taking the points.
One particularly memorable encounter between these sides came in September 2010, when they clashed in the Championship. Norwich were newly promoted and in good form heading into the clash. Leicester, on the other hand, were struggling for form and at the bottom of the table and had taken only five points from their first eight Championship games. Norwich won the Carrow Road encounter 4-3, after Leicester had taken an early lead via Martyn Waghorn. Wes Hoolahan would be a key presence for the Canaries, netting from the penalty spot and providing an assist for Adam Drury, before sealing the game with his second goal deep in the second half. Norwich would surely settle for a repeat of that result on Friday evening, though Daniel Farke might prefer a more straightforward three points.
Our featured tip for this intriguing Premier League clash comes from William Hill. They are offering odds of 3.10 on Leicester to win and both teams to score. We think that this is a good bet because while the Foxes are favourites, they haven’t been in great form recently. Norwich are also becoming desperate for points and will be keen to score. In Teemu Pukki they have a real goal threat too. But we expect the Foxes to come away with the three points in the end, possibly thanks to a 2-1 final scoreline.