NORWICH CITY v MILLWALL
Football: England: nPower Championship
Tuesday 1st February 2011 – Kickoff 7.45pm
Last season’s League One winners, Norwich City, ran away with the league and were duly promoted back up to the Championship, but I don’t think even the most ardent Canaries fans would have envisaged their meteoric rise up the Championship this season.
They currently sit second behind QPR, and on Tuesday night will entertain visitors Millwall at Carrow Road. Three points for Norwich could extend their lead on Cardiff City to four points as they look to put some daylight between them and the chasing pack.
It’s no more than they deserve as Paul Lambert’s men have been solid both home and away in a very competitive league that on any given day, any team can beat another. So, Lambert will be keen to press home the advantage once again over a Millwall side that haven’t won on the road in their last five matches.
The Canaries’ home record stands at 7-3-4 25/20, and they’ve lost just once in their last eight at home which was a 0-2 loss to Portsmouth. Other than that, they’ve recently beaten Ipswich Town 4-1, Sheffield United 4-2 and a massive win over leaders QPR 1-0 early January.
As per last season, they possess a number of players capable of causing havoc in any defence; striker Grant Holt (10 goals, 7 assists) leads the way, but is joined by dangerous midfielders Wes Hoolahan (8 goals, 1 assist), Andrew Crofts (6 goals, 3 assists) & Russell Martin (4 goals, 1 assist). Then there are the two other forwards in the shape of Chris Martin (4 goals, 2 assists) and Simeon Jackson (4 goals, 1 assist), while the ammunition is supplied by another midfielder David Fox (1 goal, 4 assists). Such is their firepower though that there are another three players to have scored and another seven that have contributed with at least one assist.
Eighth placed Millwall go in search of just their fourth win on their travels, but will find it hard going I fancy when they go to Carrow Road. The Lions have not won an away match for five matches which actually sounds a little worse than it is as they’ve drawn four of those five; draws at Preston, Swansea City, Portsmouth and Derby County aren’t bad, but they lost their last match at Leicester City 2-4.
Their away record reads 3-6-5 13/16, and earns a ‘could do better’ mark on their school report. Their home form is pretty solid, but I detect a weakness away from home which teams like Norwich City will pounce on mercilessly.
In terms of their attacking options, striker Steve Morison (11 goals, 3 assists) is undoubtedly their danger man, but they also have the likes of midfield duo James Henry (3 goals, 6 assists) and Liam Trotter (4 goals, 3 assists) to back him up.
Head-to-head: Norwich City haven’t lost to Millwall at home in the last five encounters with the Canaries winning three and drawing two.
The Verdict: I’m confident that Norwich City possess far too much firepower for their counterparts tonight, so I’m going for a Norwich City win – perhaps 3-1 to the Canaries.
Main Pick: Norwich City @ a curiously priced 2.02 with Pinnacle Sports
Side Bet: Wes Hoolahan to score anytime @ 3.75 with bet365 – Hoolahan has scored 6 of his 8 league goals at Carrow Road.