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Wednesday, 16 January, 2019

Canaries can leave McCarthy in a flap

Ipswich without top scorer Lawrence

Norwich can send their fans home happy
1 of 1

Sky Bet Championship
Sky Sports 2, midday Sunday

Norwich have won five and drawn the other two of the last seven East Anglian derbies and the blue-and-white tractors may well be chugging back forlornly over the border again.

Defeat beckons for Ipswich, who have made a partial recovery from that dismal FA Cup exit at Lincoln with one or two decent results and the pressure on Mick McCarthy, for now at least, has lifted.

But they still look fairly one-dimensional and weaker in the absence of suspended top goalscorer Tom Lawrence.

Norwich also appear to have hit some form – or at least they had before last week’s visit to Burton – and if the Canaries are on song they should have the talent going forward to see off their flatland rivals.

Since losing at Southampton in the FA Cup a month ago Norwich have played seven games and were unbeaten in the first six before crashing at the Pirelli.

The pick of their wins was a 5-1 hammering of Nottingham Forest, though the 2-2 draw against Newcastle was arguably more creditable.

They have scored 17 in their last six games and it is a mystery how they find themselves quite so far off the promotion pace, but because of that the pressure is still very much on Alex Neil.

This looks a golden opportunity for them, though. The goals are flowing, key figures further back are fit now and Ipswich are there for the taking.

The problem for the Suffolk raiders is a lack of goals – only Villa and Rotherham have scored fewer on their travels.

They are unbeaten in three away – the 1-1 draw at Brighton an indication of what they can do – but successes against top-half sides have been rare. They haven’t beaten a top-12 team for more than three months and they have also won only one of their last eight.

The word is that David McGoldrick has improved appreciably since the turn of the year, although he has still scored only three times this term. They certainly won’t bedazzle Norwich – that’s not their style.

There have been goals galore at Carrow Road this season, although this may not be a scoring blockbuster since Ipswich have improved defensively.

Norwich backers who may want something more eye-catching than 3-4, might prefer to back the hosts and under 3.5 goals at 27-20.

Norwich & under 3.5 goals
1pt 27-20 Coral

Team news
Ivo Pinto, Steven Naismith and Youssuf Mulumbu all hope to be fit after injuries. Nelson Oliveira, Graham Dorrans and Louis Thompson are out.

Captain Luke Chambers, Toumani Diagouraga and Freddie Sears are all fit after missing training. Top scorer Tom Lawrence is suspended. Steven Taylor, Adam Webster, Dominic Samuel and Giles Coke are out.

Key stat
Carrow Road has seen an average of 3.2 goals per game this season.

There have been goals galore at Carrow Road this season, although this may not be a scoring blockbuster since Ipswich have improved defensively
E.W. Terms
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