CHAMPIONSHIP

AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

STAR FOOTBALL PREVIEW Sat: Norwich v Blackburn

With the World Cup coming to a close, domestic football is beginning to get back to normality with leagues across the globe starting to resume.

Norwich City take on Blackburn Rovers on Saturday afternoon in a battle between third and fourth in the Championship with both sides looking to keep the pressure on the automatic promotion places.

The Canaries, who were relegated back down to the Championship from the Premier League last season, are looking to make an immediate return to the top-flight, but their crash landing back into the EFL hasn’t been the softest with manager Dean Smith already taking some flak from the fans.

Despite some dodgy performances and a few disappointing results, Norwich do sit only six points outside the Championship’s top-two and a victory over Blackburn – who sit just one spot ahead of them in the table – could really bring them back into contention.

In their first match after the World Cup break, main man Teemu Pukki grabbed the only goal of the game against Swansea City in a victory that alleviated some of the concerns, but there is still a long way to go for a side whose ambition will be promotion and nothing less this season.

In terms of team news, the Canaries will be without three key players for this game with Jon Rowe, Jakob Sorensen and Sam Byram all sidelined through injury.

Norwich City v Blackburn Rovers
Championship
17:30 Sky Sports Main Event / Sky Sports Football / Sky Sports Ultra HDR

HEAD-TO-HEAD RECORD
(Maximum 10 matches)
OCT 2011 PREMIER LEAGUE Norwich 3-3 Blackburn
APR 2012 PREMIER LEAGUE Blackburn 2-0 Norwich
AUG 2014 CHAMPIONSHIP Norwich 3-1 Blackburn
FEB 2015 CHAMPIONSHIP Blackburn 1-2 Norwich
AUG 2016 CHAMPIONSHIP Blackburn 1-4 Norwich
MAR 2017 CHAMPIONSHIP Norwich 2-2 Blackburn
DEC 2018 CHAMPIONSHIP Blackburn 0-1 Norwich
APR 2019 CHAMPIONSHIP Norwich 2-1 Blackburn
DEC 2020 CHAMPIONSHIP Blackburn 1-2 Norwich
MAR 2021 CHAMPIONSHIP Norwich 1-1 Blackburn

Blackburn Rovers enjoyed a rip-roaring start to the season under new boss Jon Dahl Tomasson; charging to the top of the table early on.

They have suffered a little bit of a dip in form since then, with Burnley and Sheffield United overtaking them and moving into the Championship’s automatic promotion places, but are still right up there with the improvements from last season under Tony Mowbray noticeable on the whole.

They suffered a disappointing return to action last week, though, as Lancashire rivals Preston North End ran out comfortable 4-1 winners at Ewood Park with Ben Woodburn, Ched Evans and Ben Whiteman among the goals for the Lilywhites.
There are likely to be plenty of changes following back humbling return to Championship action with Tomasson sure to be looking for a response from his players.

However, for me, Norwich look the stronger of the two sides heading into this one and – coupled with the home advantage – I think Smith’s Canaries will take the three points from this one.

JOE CITRONE


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