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Norwich vs Watford Preview

NORWICH, ENGLAND – APRIL 17: Norwich City players celebrate promotion to the Premier League after their 3-1 defeat to Bournemouth during the Sky Bet Championship match between Norwich City and AFC Bournemouth at Carrow Road on April 17, 2021 in Norwich, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Robin Jones – AFC Bournemouth/AFC Bournemouth via Getty Images)

After securing promotion on Saturday, Norwich City now have an opportunity to clinch the Championship title against fellow automatic promotion hopefuls Watford on Tuesday night.

The Hornets won the reverse fixture 1-0 on Boxing Day and have won four of their last five fixtures against the Canaries. But defeat for the Hertfordshire side at Carrow Road could open the door for Swansea and Brentford to close the gap to second place.

Team News

Daniel Farke raised concerns over the fitness of Grant Hanley, Teemu Pukki, and Todd Cantwell in his pre-match duties. Hanley suffered a swollen ankle against Bournemouth on Saturday but continued to play the full 90 minutes. Pukki was substituted off due to a hit on the knee. Meanwhile, Cantwell has reported some issues, so also remains a doubt.

However, Farke is hopeful all three will be available. The German coach will be without Greek full-back Dimitris Giannoulis’ following his red card. Norwich have confirmed they have appealed the decision but his suspension will not be overturned before this match.

Longer-term absentees include Michael McGovern, Sam Byram, Christoph Zimmerman, Ben Gibson, and Lukas Rupp. Adam Idah is unlikely to feature but would be available if required.

Watford will be without Kiko Femenia after the defender was sent off against Luton for a second yellow card. They remain hopeful that Nathaniel Chalobah will be back, with the midfielder failing a late fitness test before the trip to Kenilworth Road. Likewise, Adam Masina was taken ill in the warmup, so his availability remains unknown.

Troy Deeney and Tom Dele-Bashiru both remain out.

Form

Both teams come into the fixture off the back of a rare Championship defeat. The 3-1 defeat to Bournemouth was the Canaries first defeat since early February. Previously, the Norfolk side had enjoyed an unbeaten run that spanned 13 matches. Additionally, it was the first defeat at Carrow Road since October against Derby County.

Watford lost to bitter rivals Luton Town. Similarly to Norwich they had only lost once in their previous 14 games before Saturday. However, the Hornets have struggled on the road this season, winning only seven matches.

Key Men

NORWICH, ENGLAND – APRIL 17: Norwich City’s Emiliano Buendia celebrates scoring the opening goal against Bournemouth (Photo by David Horton – CameraSport via Getty Images).

Emi Buendia has arguably been the standout player for Norwich so far this season, with his performances catching the eye of Premier League clubs. The Argentinian midfielder should deservedly take his place in the Championship team of the season.

13 goals and 15 assists to his name, he will be hoping to add to his tally in this fixture. Buendia did score against the Hornets in the Premier League at Vicarage Road last season.

Ismaïla Sarr of Watford in action during the Sky Bet Championship match between Watford and Wycombe Wanderers at Vicarage Road (Photo by Juan Gasparini/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images).

Ismaila Sarr is the other standout young Championship star attracting high praise from fans and pundits. The winger has scored 12 goals and notched 4 assists so far this term, including the winner against Norwich earlier this season. With Norwich struggling with defensive injuries and suspensions, Watford fans will hope Sarr can deliver once again.

Prediction

NORWICH, ENGLAND – APRIL 17: A view of the final score as play continues into injury time during the Sky Bet Championship match between Norwich City and AFC Bournemouth at Carrow Road on April 17, 2021, in Norwich, England. (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)

Watford still have slim aspirations of claiming the Championship title, however, they must win at Carrow Road to keep the dream alive. Norwich City know a victory will secure the title with three games left to play. Despite this, a draw seems favourable for this game.

Norwich 1-1 Watford

The Championship Crowd Podcast

For previews, reviews, and greater insight into the latest Championship news, then be sure to listen to this week’s Championship Crowd Podcast. This week we are joined by a Watford fan to discuss this fixture and the end of the season.

It is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and many more platforms. However, if you would prefer to watch it visually, it is obtainable via the WDSportz YouTube channel.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdGTpvqXAQB1dbvlZC8Qk2g

The best place to keep updated is through our Twitter page @champcrowdpod

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