Norwich to win – 8/13
The Canaries have plenty to chirp about this season, though you’d be forgiven for wondering what’s been mixed in with their Trill given the talent at manager Daniel Farke’s disposal.
Manager Daniel Farke, whose surname we’re all big fans of here, has cobbled together a team on a budget smaller than your average MP’s expenses claim. They’re top of the Championship despite the big-spending ways of promotion chasers and recent-Premier League relegation sufferers. They sold their best player, James Maddison, to Leicester last summer, and looked doomed to a season of mediocrity at best after a slow start.
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But they’ve rallied since, thanks to some astute additions from abroad – Onel Hernandez, Emiliano Buendia, former Celtic after-thought Teemu Pukki – combined with youthful endeavour in the form of Jamal Lewis, Ben Godfrey, Todd Cantwell and a smattering of experience in goalie Tim Krul, former Swans midfielder Leroy Fer and the well-travelled Jordan Rhodes.
They’ve lost just once at home in the league this season, and that rock-solid base is the foundation for their charge to the top of the division. They outfoxed Bielsa’s spy network in February, beating Leeds 3-1 at Elland Road and have won five of their last six games, scoring 17 times in that run.
If Norwich are going up they should have enough to take care of Graham Potter’s side, and 8/13 will do for our Same Game Multi purposes.
Over 3.5 Goals – 7/5
Norwich’s scoring rate shows their German manager’s willingness to attack. They picked him up from the Dortmund reserve team – where else – and his side fly forward like their more illustrious yellow-shirted counterparts in the Bundesliga.
The home team have scored three or more goals 14 times in the league this season – that’s even more than City!
With Swansea’s away form showing they’ve lost three straight on their travels, and their last league win away from the Liberty Stadium coming on New Years Day at Reading, the Norfolk crowd will be expecting to see their team put on a show under the Friday floodlights.
The Swans beat Bolton last weekend, but a stiff breeze would knock them over at the moment with the club in such a state, while Leeds and Bristol City, two of Norwich’s fellow challengers at the top of the league, have despatched the Swans in the last month or so.
They aren’t the most prolific on the road, but they’ve scored in all but one of their last 11 games away from home and, if Norwich keep up their hit-rate, the over 3.5 should be on at 7/5.
Last Goalscorer – Teemu Pukki – 16/5
In the forceful Finn Farke has found an unlikely attacking focal point, his 24 goals in 32 games leading the Championship top-scorer charts. His recent run has seen him score in seven of Norwich’s last eight games, including a brace against both Bolton and Ipswich.
Signed from Brondby in Denmark in the summer having established a reputation there as a reliable scoring source in the Danish top flight, much to the amazement of many Celtic fans given his ill-fated stint in Glasgow.
He could be joining their recently-departed gaffer as a fixture in the 2019/20 Premier League drama if he continues to finish off the chances laid on by his hard-running team-mates and pressing of the opposition.
During his recent fruitful spell, he’s only opened the scoring twice but has netted the final goal in four of their last five games. He’s a finisher in every sense, and will take advantage of opponents when they’re fed up of being chased and harassed for 90 minutes, the 16/5 for him to be the last name on the scoresheet again appeals.
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