Norwich take on Middlesbrough this weekend as they look to keep their title challenge in their hands.
We spoke to City of Yellows as usual, then, to preview the game and talk all things City ahead of the evening kick-off tomorrow:
1. Teemu Pukki is nominated for POTY – why does he deserve to win it altogether?
For me Teemu Pukki is a ‘shoo-in’ for the EFL player of the year. He is up against superb competition with the other two nominations namely Che Adams of Birmingham and Billy Sharp of Sheffield United.
Billy has just reached the milestone of scoring the most goals in Championship history however Teemu has shone for both club and country this season and can boost the best statistics. His overall return for the 2018/19 season so far is 28 goals and nine assists.
In addition to this, his work rate is class leading together with an uncanny vision to pick out players around him. This was typified with the back heal and pinpoint cross for Finland’s second goal against Armenia this week. He has been a revelation for City this season and will hopefully break his five-game dry patch with goals against Middlesbrough’s the weekend.
2. Thoughts on Chris Wilder pipping Daniel Farke to the manager of the year award?
Chris Wilder deserves to have the Manger’s award for February. Both him and Daniel have collected four wins, the difference being the Blades draw with Villa having been three up with minutes left and City losing to Preston away having produced 22 efforts to score.
What is really impressive about Wilder is the seven-game run of not conceding a single goal, a fantastic achievement at any level.
Daniel did pick up the award in November however the main prize which matters will be Championship manager of the season and one which will be thoroughly deserved in the Canaries can keep on the current course and finish as Champions.
3. Ben Godfrey is linked with a £10m to the Premier League – is he ready for that if he moves?
Since his move from York, Ben Godfrey initially made steady progress with the under 23’s and got superb reviews and experience at Shrewsbury as a holding midfielder.
The League One exposure of disappointment in the play-off final defeat will have been character building must have made him stronger.
His goal against the play off winners Rotherham United must have tasted sweet. He has grabbed his chance at centre back and I am so impressed with Daniel Farke in firstly having the confidence to play him and then allowing Ben to retain his shirt following the return to fitness of Grant Hanley and Timm Klose.
Based on the rumours of interest from the big six Premiership clubs, my feeling is that £10 million is way too low for his services. Whether he stays or departs, which will be initially dependant upon promotion I guess, I have faith in the management to make the right decision for Ben and the club
4. A trip to Middlesbrough up next, what are you expecting from them?
I am not expecting too much resistance from Middlesbrough. Whilst City have won six on the trot scoring 16 goals, Boro sit 13th in the form table with two wins, one draw and three defeats – the last three outings producing loses to Brentford, Preston and Villa. Their six games have produced only five goals. I am hoping the international break will have not done them any favours to regroup or broken Norwich’s impressive run.
Middlesbrough fans are not currently in a positive place. The football under Tony Pulis is not good on the eye and they have serious competition from Derby, Preston and Villa as they cling onto the a playoff position. The pressure from the home fans will be felt from the outset, especially if they go 1-0 down early doors.
5. Score prediction
Middlesbrough 1 Norwich 3