September 8, 2017 by Kane Styles.
Blues travel to Norwich without a win at Carrow Road, unbelievably, since 2002, when a 1-0 victory courtesy of a Stern John goal sealed all three points in Blues’ memorable promotion campaign. A win of any kind would be welcome this time around, with Blues looking to recover from a run of three consecutive defeats at the hands of Burton, Bournemouth (Carabao Cup) and Reading prior to the international break; the 2-0 loss to Reading lending weight (and some) to manager Harry Redknapp’s view that reinforcements were needed in mass.
Blues’ journey east for Saturday’s game could see debuts handed to the ex-Brentford trio of Jota, Harlee Dean and Maxime Colin, though with the flurry of activity on deadline day the makeup of the starting XI is, to a degree, anyone’s guess.
Aside from new recruits, it is hoped that Che Adams – fresh from signing a new five year contract – will feature at some stage following his recovery from the hamstring injury he sustained against Bristol City, with his return most welcome.
With fresh attacking options alongside Adams now including Jeremie Boga, Jota, Isaac Vassell (also in contention for a return on Saturday) and Sam Gallagher, Redknapp has been far from subtle in implying Blues need to find the back of the net more; indeed, the measly three league goals his side have managed so far is the lowest in the Championship.
For the hosts Norwich, it has been a far from impressive start to the season, with a thumping 4-0 loss away at Millwall prior to the international break seeing them sat down in 22nd on four points from five, the same figure Blues (who occupy 20th) have amassed.
Also of note is that the 12 league goals that Norwich have shipped stands as the worst record in the league so far, though the deadline day signing of Grant Hanley from Newcastle should go some way to plugging the gaps at the back, while managing to hold on to Nelson Oliveira was also good bit of business amid a great deal of interest.
Last time around…
This fixture last season saw Norwich take the three points, with first half goals from former Blues striker Cameron Jerome and Timm Klose seeing Gianfranco Zola’s miserable winless streak stretch to seven league games and nine in total.
Of note, two of the players that started that day for Blues, Kerim Frei (then a Blues debutant) and Ryan Shotton, have since moved on, while Sébastien Bassong, a player currently on trial with Blues, was on the Norwich bench alongside former loanee Kyle Lafferty.
Blues’ last point at Carrow Road came back in September 2014, when first half goals from Callum Reilly and Demarai Gray put Blues in command, before a 2-0 lead was squandered thanks to two second half goals from Cameron Jerome.