A-Z: The Norwich City favourite who's found a home with the Sky Blues
- Credit: PA
As we continue our A-Z Championship series, Chris Lakey takes a look at Coventry City, Huddersfield and Hull City
In the Norwich City record books as an excellent striker who famously scored twice in a 4-2 win at Arsenal on the opening day of the inaugural Premier League season. In his second spell at Coventry, where he has found his true home – and just signed a new deal.
Coventry’s best finish for more than a decade – 12th . In truth, they’d been higher for large parts of the campaign and gradually faded in the final stretch.
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Last time v NCFC
Coventry 0 Norwich City 2
Norwich City 1 Coventry 1
The attacking midfielder is well-known to City boss Dean Smith, having been at Aston Villa from the age of seven until his departure in August 2019. Had a season on loan at Coventry before the deal was made permanent. His performances - five goals and eight assists last season - have earned him plenty of admirers, although reports that the Canaries were among them proved to be a bit wide of the mark. Been compared to Jack Grealish – another player very familiar to Smith
Coventry’s 12th-place finish was their best since 2005-06 when they finished eighth, one place and one point ahead of the Canaries. They actually started that season with a 1-1 draw at Carrow Road.
Robins works on a tight budget but will be determined to go one better and get the Sky Blues into the play-offs. Bookies don’t fancy them – but you get the feeling the manager will be perfectly happy with that view.
Been at the helm for two years now, having taken over from Danny Cowley. Corberan had been with Leeds under Marcelo Bielsa and he has revitalised the Terriers, taking them to last season’s play-off final, when they lost to Nottingham Forest. Popular with supporters, with whom he has already formed a good bond. Fans everywhere know what that means to the chances of success.
Last time v NCFC
Norwich City 7 Huddersfield 0
Pukki 3, Buendia
Huddersfield 0 Norwich City 1
Won the FA Youth Cup with Norwich in 2013 - a team managed by Neil Adams and including the likes of Josh and Jacob Murphy and King’s Lynn Town’s Kyle Callan-McFadden. Toffolo, 26, owns the left side for Huddersfield and was instrumental in a great burst of form at the end of last season when he scored five goals in the final seven games of the regular season. He’s quick, agile, a good defender and a good attacker, with good imagination.
Jordan Rhodes also had a nice scoring end to last season, with two in the final three games of the regular season and the play-off semi-final winner at home to Luton. Rhodes scored six in nine starts during a loan spell at Norwich, where he became one of those temporary players who are highly thought of.
Good manager, bit of impetus from past season despite the play-off final defeat to Nottingham Forest. Bookies have them on the fringes of the play-off picture – the Terriers may well prove them wrong.
The Georgian is a former prolific striker whose clubs included Rangers and Ajax. Has managed in Uzbekistan, Israel and Turkey and coached in Holland. Was appointed in January to replace the axed Grant McCann. Won six of his 20 games in charge.
Last time v NCFC
Norwich 3 Hull City 2
Buendia (2) Pugh, Martin
Hull City 0 Norwich 0
The 21-year-old striker featured in every game for the Tigers last season, scoring a dozen goals, and also featured for England Under-12s. Same old story, though – plenty of bigger clubs are interested in his services.
Hull’s first home game of the season is against Norwich City – deemed a high degree of difficulty given the visitors have just come down from the Premier League. Hull’s start is statistically the toughest in the division when looking at the average finishing position of the first six opponents.
They finished 19th last season and if that start (Preston and Bradford away, Norwich, Burnley and West Brom away then at home to Coventry) causes them problems they are playing catch-up again. Bottom half, for sure.