Championship leaders Norwich City will be aiming to extend their winning run to five games when they visit bottom club Wycombe Wanderers on Sunday lunchtime.
Earlier this week, the Canaries registered their 20th league victory of the season away at Birmingham City; a result which took them onto 67 points. Regardless of how any of this weekend’s matches end, the Norfolk club are certain to hold onto their place at the top of the table.
As for Wycombe, their recent win over Reading provided their supporters with some hope that survival could be achieved. However, the Chairboys are still rooted to the bottom of the division, so a big effort will still be required if they are to avoid an immediate return to League One.
Following his sending-off against Reading in midweek, Wycombe centre-back Ryan Tafazolli will miss this match through suspension. Goalkeeper Ryan Allsop remains out with an injury, which means that David Stockdale is likely to start between the sticks for the Chairboys for the third game in a row.
Norwich will be without attacking midfielder Todd Cantwell for the trip to Buckinghamshire as the 23-year-old has a problem with his calf. Josh Martin will also miss out due to a slight toe injury, while Cuban winger Onel Hernandez is set to be assessed before the match after he suffered a dead leg in training.
Centre-back Ben Gibson should be back available for the Canaries this weekend, after missing the league leaders’ last two games with a back issue.
Wycombe: Stockdale; Grimmer, Stewart, Knight, Obita; Thompson; McCleary, Wheeler, Mehmeti, Onyedinma; Ikpeazu
Norwich: Krul; Aarons, Hanley, Gibson, Giannoulis; Skipp, McLean; Buendia, Vrancic, Dowell; Pukki
Wycombe will be in optimistic mood ahead of Sunday’s match following their 1-0 triumph over promotion candidates Reading on Tuesday evening. Winger Fred Onyedinma scored the only goal of the game to move his team to within eight points of safety.
The Chairboys have collected a total of seven points from their last four matches but will need to produce a strong display if they wish to pick up a positive result against Norwich, who have won their last four games. Finnish striker Teemu Pukki – who has been in excellent form of late – scored twice on Tuesday night as the Canaries beat Birmingham 3-1 at St Andrew’s Trillion Trophy Stadium.
Ones to watch
Striker Uche Ikpeazu has emerged as a key player for Wycombe since the start of 2021. The 25-year-old – who signed from Heart of Midlothian last August – has started nine of the Chairboys’ last 10 league games, and has found the net three times across that period.
Known for his immense strength and power, Ikpeazu has led the line well in recent weeks, and Wycombe will need him to continue to make his presence felt if they are to take any points away from Sunday’s match.
The former Cambridge United man had an unsuccessful trial with the Canaries back in the summer of 2016, so he could now have a point to prove to them.
Many players have stood out for Norwich during their impressive campaign so far, but few have performed more consistently than captain Grant Hanley. The Scottish centre-back has not missed a minute of Championship action since early October and has helped the team keep a total of 12 league clean sheets.
This weekend, Ikpeazu is likely to be at the forefront of Wycombe’s attacking ventures, but he could have a difficult afternoon against Hanley, who also relishes a physical battle.
These two sides have faced each other competitively on only five different occasions in the past, with Norwich winning all five of those matches. Earlier this term, Wycombe performed admirably at Carrow Road and thought they had earned a 1-1 draw, before Mario Vrancic’s stoppage-time free-kick denied them their first point of the season.
The Canaries last visited Adams Park in September 2018 for a Carabao Cup third round tie. Striker Jordan Rhodes scored an impressive hat-trick which helped Daniel Farke’s side to a 4-3 victory over the Chairboys, who were a League One club at the time.
How to watch
This match will kick off at midday on Sunday February 28 and will be broadcast live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Football. Kick-off is scheduled for 12:00 GMT.
What the managers have said
Speaking ahead of the game, Wycombe manager Gareth Ainsworth acknowledged Norwich’s strengths but expressed his belief that his side are capable of causing a shock result on Sunday.
He said: “We have a chance to beat Norwich and at Carrow Road, we took them very close.
“I have got an amazing amount of respect for Daniel Farke as he is a top guy and I am looking forward to nothing less than a tough test.
“[Max] Aarons, [Teemu] Pukki, [Todd] Cantwell, [Grant] Hanley…they have got some fantastic players, international players.
“But, I have got some names emerging from my Wycombe side that people will start noticing and we have a chance of staying in the Championship as long as it is mathematically possible.”
Meanwhile, Norwich head coach Farke was full of compliments for the Chairboys and Ainsworth in his pre-match news conference.
Farke stated: “I really do like them [Wycombe]. I like what Gareth [Ainsworth] is doing. He has delivered for years and they are brave and they go with their style.
“They always want to bring their style on the pitch, try to bring their offence and I like this, I like this bravery. It is a sign of their fighting spirit that they go into their games with a lot of bravery and togetherness.
“It is fantastic what they are doing. I would like them to stay in this league because it is good to have these characters.”