Watford v Norwich City – all you need to know 

Teemu Pukki

Teemu Pukki in action during the July clash against Watford at Vicarage Road - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City will be looking to make it six wins in a row in the Championship – and extend their lead at the top - as they head to Watford on Saturday for a 7.45pm kick-off.  We run down all the key points you need to know ahead of the game. 


Injury news 

The game has come too early for City keeper Tim Krul, who is still recovering from a thigh issue injury sustained in the win at Stoke in late November. Marco Stiepermann is out - he’s been suffering from an ear infection and Daniel Farke wants to give him.  Ben Gibson (hamstring) and Xavi Quintilla (hip) are available. Przemyslaw Placheta (hamstring) is out. Onel Hernandez (adductor), Sam Byram (hamstring), Adam Idah (knee) and Bali Mumba (knee) are not expected to be in contention until early in the new year.  

Watford skipper Troy Deeney is expected to return after being an unused sub in the 2-0 defeat at Huddersfield due to a “discipline issue”. William Troost-Ekong is a doubt. Definitely out are Isaac Success (ruptured Achilles tendon), Tom Dele-Bashiru (cruciate ligament) and Adam Masina (cracked tendon). 

Norwich Head Coach Daniel Farke

Canaries boss Daniel Farke - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Daniel Farke on Watford 

While there’s some stability in the City camp, Watford have had yet another change at the top, with head coach Xisco Munoz taking charge of his first game. Here’s what Daniel Farke had to say about the Hornets’ revolving door... “I am far away from giving advice to other clubs to stick with managers. We know that is in short supply in this business. But if you are convinced you have the right person, or right sporting director or player, then you cannot be addicted totally to the result on a Saturday or a Tuesday. I wouldn’t label us as a role model. Each club has to find its own way.” 


Xisco Munoz on the Canaries 

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“It’s an important game and we must fight like an animal. We will give our maximum and play this game like it is the last game in our life. The guys want to play this game and have big character for this game. We have a good team and with nine points the difference [between the two sides], we need to change something and do better. If we continue with the attitude [we have had in two days], then we will have good moments in the future.” 

Tim Krul

Tim Krul has signed a new deal with the Canaries - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Talking point 

City have revealed a string of new players contracts leading up to the game. Arguably the biggest one came on Christmas Day, when it was revealed keeper Tim Krul had committed himself to the club to 2024. Krul said he was proud and excited, but perhaps the most telling part of his reaction was his view of the future: “...  I’m just really excited with this club, where it’s got the potential to go”.  

Krul’s decision is also built on trust. That’s huge. 

Emi Buendia at watford

Emi Buendia was on target the last time the teams met - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Last time we met 

Watford 2 City 1 

July 7, 2020 

It was football, but not as we now it: City were having a terrible time trying to escape the Premier League drop in Project Restart conditions. This was their fifth game back and became their fifth defeat (in what turned out to be a post-lockdown 10-match losing run). Emi Buendia put City ahead on four minutes but Craig Dawson levelled on 10 minutes and Danny Welbeck got the winner on 55. 

Referee

John Brooks is in charge, his 15th appointment this season. Was in charge when City drew 2-2 at home to Preston – a fans test match - in September. So far this season he’s issued 45 yellow cards and just one red. 


How can I watch? 

The game is live on Sky Sports Main Event - 7.45pm kick-off – so no match passes are being sold and it is not able to be viewed as part of any existing international passes or subscriptions.  

You can follow our live coverage at pinkun.com:  https://www.pinkun.com/


Prediction 

Will the windy weather make any difference and, for City, a return  to an empty stadium? Christmas fixtures are always notoriously difficult to predict but you’d expect the formbook to be followed: narrow win for City  

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