Norwich City v QPR: A must-win game? Surely not...

PUBLISHED: 13:42 16 August 2017 | UPDATED: 13:42 16 August 2017

Wes Hoolahan of Norwich celebrates scoring the fourth goal against QPR in May. 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Wes Hoolahan of Norwich celebrates scoring the fourth goal against QPR in May. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

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Norwich City v QPR

John Ruddy in front of the Barclay Stand during his last match for City. 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdJohn Ruddy in front of the Barclay Stand during his last match for City. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Carrow Road, Wednesday, 7.45pm

Game number three of the new season – and already, for some, it appears to be a must-win. A good point at Fulham followed by a disappointing home defeat by Sunderland (who were a Premier League side last season don’t forget) and suddenly we have realised that people not only don’t like change, they don’t understand it. Rome wasn’t built in a day...

It is fair to say Sunday’s result against the Black Cats was a bit of a wake-up call – maybe we had all got a little too carried away with the Daniel Farke persona and forgotten about the harsh realities: City have changed their style of play and many of the personnel required to carry it out. The trickle of negativity is nowhere near storm proportions, but it did gather some strength. On the plus side, the atmosphere inside Carrow Road was better – until things started to become uncomfortable.

City have lost just once at home to QPR in the last 14 meetings, winning 10. Overall, City have 46 wins to QPR’s 37, with 33 draws.

Josh Murphy celebrates after scoring City's third. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdJosh Murphy celebrates after scoring City's third. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Rangers beat Reading on opening day and drew at Sheffield Wednesday at the weekend – a good start for Ian Holloway’s team.

Last time...

Norwich 4 QPR 0

Alan Irvine - the QPR game was his last in caretaker charge. 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdAlan Irvine - the QPR game was his last in caretaker charge. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

(Championship, May 7, 2017)

The final day of the season, with only pride at stake – but City turned on the style. Wes Hoolahan’s goal gave them a half-time lead, Alex Pritchard doubled it on the hour mark, Josh Murphy added a third five minutes from time before Hoolahan put the icing no the cake in the final minute of a match which saw keeper John Ruddy end his long association with the club. It was also the last we saw of interim manager Alan Irvine who, post-match, said: “The new manager might want to bring in his own people, and I would fully respect that, while he also might talk to me and decide not to take me on.” He knew, didn’t he?

So, to tonight’s game...

Referee: Oliver Langford. Booked five in his last game – the League One game between Wigan and Bury on Sunday. Was in charge of the derby at Carrow Road last season when he booked two Ipswich players. Controversially sent off Robbie Brady in the goalless draw at Brentford on New Year’s Eve December – one of five red cards he showed in the space of six matches.

Weather forecast

Looks like a nice, bright late afternoon/early evening.

Betting

(SkyBet)

Norwich win: 5/6

QPR win: 3/1

Draw: 14/5

First scorer

City: Jerome, Oliveira 9/2, Watkins 11/2, Naismith, Wildschutt 13/2,

QPR: Sylla 7/1, Washington, Smith, Mackie 8/1.

No scorer: 12/1

Or...

City to win 4-0 again – 28/1; to score a hat-trick – Jerome 33/1, Oliveira 40/1, Watkins 50/1.

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