Pundits predict: Our writers have their say on who will have the bragging rights on Sunday

City fans will be hoping for some Wes Hoolahan magic come high noon on Sunday. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

City fans will be hoping for some Wes Hoolahan magic come high noon on Sunday. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

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Our columnists give their predictions ahead of the East Anglian derby on Sunday

Paddy Davitt

How are the nerves?

It feels like a spiky undercurrent has fuelled this particular derby build up.

Nelson Oliveira did nothing to win friends in Suffolk with his ‘better players, better club’ jibes. Luke Chambers responded in kind with a nod to the sparkling stars above the Ipswich badge. Sparks may fly if those two duel at Portman Road.

There is one truism that holds true for this derby, just as it does for any other. Which team keeps their cool and can focus on the job in hand stands a better chance of delivering those bragging rights to supporters across the shop floor come Monday morning.

Forget City’s eight-game unbeaten run in this fixture dating back to April 2009. You can probably downplay the current eight-match surge in league and cup as well. Can Daniel Farke and many of his players preparing for their first East Anglian derby handle the occasion? We will find out in due course.

Prediction: 2-2

David Freezer

Plenty of the pre-match indicators point towards Norwich being in the driving seat ahead of kick-off but that must not lead to complacency.

Going into the game on the back of excellent wins at Middlesbrough, Sheffield United and Reading, as well as an eight-match unbeaten run, puts City in good spirits.

So much will depend on the fitness of strikers Joe Garner and Nelson Oliveira for either side, as both can have a huge impact on the way their team-mates play.

After eight years of pain, the Town players and fans are going to be desperate to disrupt the progress of Daniel Farke’s side – so City must rise to the challenge.

If they can get ahead and continue to show they’re savvy enough to cope with intimidation from the home side, all the ingredients are in the pot for another famous derby day success.

Staying solid in defence to allow the technical players to do the damage will be the key.

Prediction: 2-1 Norwich

MORE: ‘I must have done something right!’ - Darren Eadie on being booed at Portman Road

Iwan Roberts

With only two positions and one point separating Norwich and Ipswich in the Championship table it promises to be a very tight affair.

The Canaries are in fine form having not lost their last eight Championship games and winning their last four on the road in some very tough places.

Ipswich on the other hand, after a good start to the season, have lost three of their last four games so their confidence has been knocked somewhat in recent weeks.

Even though Ipswich have scored plenty of goals this season, boasting the third best attacking record in the division, they come up against the best defence in the league in the last eight games so I’ve got a feeling it’s going to be a low scoring game.

Having not tasted defeat to Ipswich in their last eight meetings Norwich will be confident of coming back with a result so I’m going for a low-score draw.

Prediction: 1-1

Chris Goreham

I’m suffering from the usual pre-Derby paranoia.

Norwich City are above Ipswich in The Championship, unbeaten in eight and haven’t lost a match to their local rivals since 2009. All of these runs will come to an end at some point and that’s where the constant nagging worries come from.

The fixture computer has certainly done City a favour. If the Portman Road clash had been inside the first month, as it has been the last two seasons we have been in the same division, then such an occasion would probably have been too much for the August incarnation of this new look Norwich.

Norwich have only conceded three goals in eight games and while it seems harsh to suggest defensive changes, this might be the right game to bring no-nonsense Grant Hanley into the starting line-up for the first time. Without the injured Alex Tettey City looked more vulnerable during the first half of the draw with Hull.

There is one other run that is perhaps more likely to come to an end; Ipswich haven’t drawn any of their last 20 matches. That’s where my money would go.

Prediction: 1-1

MORE: Players must embrace intensity of East Anglian derby

Ian Clarke

So would Norwich fans take a draw on Sunday? I would.

There’s lots of debate about who is the bigger club and who has the best players.

The fact is that Ipswich clearly were so much more successful in days gone by but for the past few years City have overtaken them in terms of support and success. Does that matter in a derby? Of course not.

It’s all about who shows the fight and passion and gets the tactics right.

On paper we should win - I genuinely believe that we’ve got the better players and if they play to their potential there’s only one winner.

But in reality it’s possibly the best chance Mick’s men have had since they last beat us eight years ago.

They have home advantage and have had a decent start and we’re still struggling with injuries.

Of course I want three points but I’d be happy to stick one in the back of the car and head back up the A140.

Prediction: 1-1

Mark Armstrong

Everyone of a Norwich City persuasion is starting to believe in their club once again.

Eight matches without defeat has restored some of the faith that was eroded during the latter days of Alex Neil’s reign. Nelson Oliveira’s injury time equaliser against Hull gave rise to the feeling that something is stirring in Norfolk under head coach Daniel Farke.

However, that feeling will pale into insignficance should City emerge from Portman Road with all three points.

The thinking goes that this is the hardest derby to call in years but if you look at the squad lists it’s clear who has the greater quality.

City will have to combat the inevitable hurly burly of a derby before letting their flair players take charge.

It would make for a great story if Oliveira could come off the bench on Sunday and grab the winner given his comments at the start of the week. Don’t bet against it.

Prediction: 2-1 Norwich

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