Cardiff vs Norwich preview: How to watch, kick-off time, team news, predicted lineups, ones to watch & managers thoughts
Todd Cantwell of Norwich City celebrates after scoring their sides second goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Norwich City and Cardiff City at Carrow Road on December 19, 2020. (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)

Whilst the Canaries top the Championship table at the midway point, they also hold the best record away from home this season, taking 22 points from a possible 33.

The Bluebirds seem to be struggling in recent weeks, after three losses on the bounce in the league. They were sent walking out the FA
Cup
last weekend, losing 1-0 to Nottingham Forest.

The sides only faced each other four weeks ago at Carrow Road, as Norwich City strolled to a 2-0 victory. Emi Buendía and Todd Cantwell were the goal scorers.

  • Team news

There was some devastating news that came in this week as Cardiff City defender Sol Bamba was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. He has now started chemotherapy.

Neil Harris and his men are desperate to get back to winning ways, but they'll have to try and do that without attacking duo, Lee Tomlin and Kieffer Moore, who remain on the sidelines.

Teemu PukkiMax Aarons and Oliver Skipp were left out against Coventry City in the FA Cup, they will more than likely be back in the starting 11 this weekend.

Tim Krul has recently tested positive for coronavirus, so Daniel Barden may get the nod in goal after starting the cup win over Coventry.

  • Predicted lineups

Cardiff City XI: 

Smithies, Bacuna, Benković, Nelson, Bennett; Vaulks, Ralls, Ojo, Wilson, Hoilett, Glatzel.

Norwich City XI: 

Barden, Aarons, Hanley, Gibson, Sorensen, Skipp, McLean, Buendia, Vrancic, Cantwell, Pukki.

  • Ones to watch

Without their top scorer Moore for this game, Sheyi Ojo could potentially be the big threat for Cardiff up and down the wing this saturday. The former Liverpool man certainly has the talent in his locker with his pace and skills, it is just whether he can become a match winner against the leaders.

Pukki is a fantastic goalscorer and leads the way for Norwich this season in the league on 11 goals, but the starlet for the Canaries this year has to be Buendia. The Argentine has been involved in 13 goals this season, with seven goals, six assists in 19 appearances. He could without a doubt be the difference between the two sides this matchday.

  • Previous meetings

In the 57 meetings between Norwich and Cardiff since 1931, there have been 32 Norwich wins, 16 Cardiff wins and nine draws.

Their previous meeting at the Cardiff City Stadium came in the Carabao Cup in 2018, when a brace from Dennis Srbeny and Max Aarons’ first goal for the club gave Norwich the 3-1 win in the second round.

  • ​​​​​​​How to watch

​​​​​​​You can watch the match by purchasing an iFollow match pass from either club's website.

  • Manager's thoughts

​​​​​​​

City boss Neil Harris held a pre-match press conference on Thursday afternoon, looking ahead to the weekend’s fixture following a difficult week for the Bluebirds.

Sol has been great, and the boys have responded in the manner that I would expect from the group of lads that we’ve got. The boys were hit quite hard by it, but having spoken to Sol, they know that he’s dealing with it and fighting it,” he said. 

It’s not just about a team performance, it’s about individual characteristics at tough times. I talk about us standing up and being counted, and these are the moments that you do it. 

“You do it for yourself, your professional pride, the club that you represent and for your teammates, but also your mates, and Sol is a friend to everybody.”

Norwich boss Daniel Farke spoke to club media ahead of the fixture.

"Right now, they're not in the position they want to be but they have the potential to win five or six in a row, as they've already shown this season. 

"It will be a difficult away game and they'll be highly-motivated coming up against the league leaders at home."​​​​​​​

 

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