After looking destined for the drop, Norwich are suddenly back in the picture for survival with a series of impressive results. They’re now unbeaten in four across all competitions with victories over relegation rivals Everton and Watford, as well as a cup win against Wolves, while they picked up another useful point against Crystal Palace midweek.
Of course, achieving results against teams around them is one thing and welcoming Man City to Carrow Road is quite another.
Pep Guardiola’s side are motoring along with 17 wins from their past 19 in all competitions, as their only defeat over this period came away to Leipzig in a dead-rubber Champions League match, having already taken first place in the group ahead of PSG.
In the league alone, City have now won 13 of 14 unbeaten games since the start of November and it would be a real shock if they failed to extract maximum points here.
Man City To Win To Nil
The visitors are a hugely consistent W29-D1-L2 against bottom-half sides since the start of last season, registering clean sheets in 21 of those victories. In fact, against teams 14th or lower in the table, City have won without conceding in 18 of 22 games over this period.
That includes a 5-0 thumping they dished out to Norwich in the reverse fixture back in August, while more recently they handed 7-0 and 4-0 beatings to Leeds and Newcastle respectively in December.
City don’t always thump the lesser sides, with their most recent encounters with bottom-seven outfits seeing them beat Brentford 1-0 on the road and then 2-0 midweek against the same opposition at the Etihad midweek.
However, their attacking prowess is certainly not in doubt and that poses serious problems for a Norwich side that hold the worst defensive record alongside Newcastle this season, having conceded an average of exactly two goals per game.
The hosts are also the division’s lowest scorers with just 14 goals from 23 matches, so it’s hard to see them putting a dent in City’s backline.
Indeed, the Canaries have lost without conceding in all eight of their clashes with the top seven in the table, while they lost by a minimum three-goal margin in five of these. Still, although it would come as no surprise if City were to run riot here, there may be reason for a little caution in backing a heavy scoreline.
Guardiola’s men aren’t quite as prolific on the road and even against bottom-seven teams, they’ve only won by a three-goal margin or greater in three of 10 trips since the start of last season. Norwich have undoubtedly improved under Dean Smith, and the win to nil appears to hold better value than the handicap.
MAN CITY TO WIN TO NIL