Weblog: The football punter
Charging Canaries can put on another late show
Sky Sports Football, 7.45pm Friday
There has been nothing dull about Norwich’s storming of the Sky Bet Championship and more thrills and spills are forecast at Carrow Road when Swansea are the guests on Friday night.
The Canaries don’t do stagefright – they have won ten and drawn the other two of their last 12 televised league fixtures – and are in a rich vein of form.
Free-scoring Norwich are the division’s top scorers with 71 goals, 24-goal Teemu Pukki tops the individual lists and has bagged nine in his last eight, and there’s a belief around Norfolk that this never-say-die group are heading up.
They thrashed Swansea 4-1 away in November and Daniel Farke’s men make plenty of appeal at 4-6.
They have scored at least three goals in six of their last eight and at least three goals in eight of their last nine on home soil. They aren’t the most reliable defensively – they are 22 points superior to Swansea yet have conceded three more goals – and both teams have scored in 13 of their last 16 games.
Both teams to score and over 2.5 goals is an even-money bet and also well worth considering.
Norwich attack fast but can also be direct and Swans boss Graham Potter isn’t the only manager who thinks Farke’s boys are the best team in the division.
Swansea are massively improved since the turn of the year and despite insisting the playoffs are within their reach, they’ve got seven points to find and plenty of good teams to overhaul to make the top six and time is not on their side.
Their away record had been okay but they have now lost three on the bounce on their travels and the Welshmen weren’t that impressive last Saturday, blustering for 80 minutes before managing to break down ten-man Bolton.
The FA Cup quarter-finalists have conceded in each of their last eight away league games.
Among the bets to consider, the second half to produce most goals at 11-10 is interesting. An astonishing 35 per cent of Norwich’s goals come after the 75th minute with 68 per cent – that’s 48 goals – in the second half.
The other bet is the Draw-Norwich double result. The reason why Norwich score so many second-half goals is that they have to because their first-half record, for a team who are top of the Championship, is ropey.
They have trailed at the break in seven of their 19 home matches in all competitions this term and been level in another eight. They have led, therefore, just four times at the half-time whistle.
Second half to have more goals
Draw-Norwich double result