Norwich City vs Sheffield United Preview: Resurgent Canaries host struggling Blades

Norwich City host Sheffield United on Saturday afternoon for matchday 28 of the 2017/18 SKY Bet EFL Championship season.

Norwich City vs Sheffield United Preview: Resurgent Canaries host struggling Blades
Norwich lost out at Chelsea via penalty shootout in midweek. (Photo: Marc Atkins / Offside / Getty Images)

Norwich City will be looking to put themsleves in serious playoff contention by beating sixth placed Sheffield United in the Championship this weekend.

Resurgent, but fatigued

Just over a month ago Norwich fans were worried about their team perhaps falling into a relegation battle, but after a great festive period their position in the league table is looking a whole lot more promising.

Daniel Farke's team have picked up 10 points out of a possible 12 since Christmas after winning just one of their 10 league games before that. This upturn in fortune has left the Canaries 13th in the league table just six points off the Championship playoff places.

However, Norwich's players will come into this game against sixth placed Sheffield United in a very fatigued state after they took reigning Premier League champions Chelsea all the way to penalties on Wednesday night in an FA cup third round replay.

Farke's side would have taken great confidence from their performance though, and will no doubt fancy their chances of completing a league double over the Blades in order to put themsleves right in the playoff mix.

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Blades looking to fight out of a rut 

In contrast to their hosts, Sheffield United's last month or so has been their worst run of the season.

Chris Wilder's team have only managed one win and seven points from the last 10 Championship games they've played and that came in the form of a 3-0 home success over bottom of the table Sunderland on boxing day.

It says a lot about how well United started the season that they're still in a playoff spot after this bad run, but only courtesy of having a better goal difference than Leeds United.

Manager Chris Wilder has been busy this month however, by bringing in four new signings in order to try and provide a second wind for the squad with the final stretch of the season not far off.

The Blades will no doubt take a bit of confidence from a recent draw at high flying Derby County and beating Ipswich Town away in the third round of the FA cup. 

Team news

Daniel Farke will likely look to rotate his squad following their midweek exertions at Chelsea, so having winger Marley Watkins fit again available again after a knee injury will help.

Midfielder Tom Trybull faces a late assessment because of a back problem while new loan signing Marcus Edwards from Tottenham Hotspur would expect to be involved in some capacity.

All of United's four January purchases should be in contention for this game, those being winger Ricky Holmes, striker James Wilson, defender Ryan Leonard and central midfielder Lee Evans.

Forward Ched Evans and full back Keiron Freeman are close to returning from thier respective knee and ankle injuries, but this game will likely come too soon for them. 

Stats

Norwich have won eight of the last nine league meetings at Carrow road including the last five in a row.

These sides haven't shared the points in any of their last 15 league clashes, with Norwich winning 10 and Sheffield United five.

Leon Clarke has scored just once in his last six league games, having scored 10 in his previous six games prior to this run.