Norwich City begins its campaign in the second tier with the long trip to face Cardiff City on Saturday with kickoff at 5 pm.
Dean Smith arrived at Carrow Road hoping to keep Norwich in the Premier League, but he would have been aware that a return to the Championship was a realistic possibility. That is how it turned out, Smith winning just six of his 30 games in charge since November 15.
However, there is no need for pessimism in East Anglia. The majority of last season’s squad are still at the club, complemented by the return of loanees and additions of Isaac Hayden and Gabriel Sara.
More changes – both incoming and out – are expected during the final five weeks of the transfer window but everything is in place to launch a bid for a third Championship title in five years.
Former caretaker manager Steve Morison was given the permanent job at Cardiff after keeping the Bluebirds in the Championship.
However, Morison’s remit has changed with the expectation now being a mid-table finish or better, a consequence of being able to make sweeping changes to his squad. As many as 12 fresh faces will be hoping to challenge for a regular first-team spot this season, and hopes are high that the Welsh outfit will be able to deliver over the course of the season.
Cardiff City vs Norwich Head to Head
Both sides have 21 games against each other with hosts taking six wins while opponents with twelve wins. Here is a look at their previous encounters:
- Swindon Town 2-4 Cardiff City
- Shrewsbury Town 0-0 Cardiff City
- Cheltenham Town 1-2 Cardiff
- Cardiff City 2-0 Newport County
- Hibernian 1-0 Norwich
- Celtic 2-0 Norwich
- Cambridge 1-3 Norwich
- Marseille 0-3 Norwich
Cardiff City Team News
It is anticipated that Morison will continue to name the same XI that started Cardiff City’s 4-2 victory away at Swindon Town last time out. This would result in as many as seven debuts being handed out, but Jaden Philogene-Bidace will likely be named among the replacements after his arrival on loan from Aston Villa.
Norwich City Team News
But Hayden has been ruled out of contention with a knee injury sustained during the early days of pre-season. Despite enjoying a strong summer back at Norwich, forward Jordan Hugill is unlikely to start against one of his former clubs.
Prediction and Odds
Cardiff will be buoyed by their home support, but this is a strong Norwich side and we feel that the visitors will edge this contest by the odd goal in three.
- Away Win
- Goals Over 1.5
- Both Teams to Score