Points-per-game projections suggest Burnley need only another 13 points from their remaining 18 games to secure an instant return to the Premier League via the automatic route and victory at Carrow Road would see Vincent Kompany’s side at least maintain a staggering 17-point gap to third.
Standing in their way, though, are Norwich City, who look revitalized under David Wagner. The Canaries have scored a whopping eight goals in his two league games in charge, having scored a paltry six in the final eight matches of Dean Smith’s tenure, and are now angling for the victory that would see them clamber back into the Play-Off places. Let’s take a look at the latest football odds with our Norwich vs Burnley betting tips below.
Canaries continue to fly high
The Yellows strengthened their squad on Deadline Day with the signing of Marquinhos on loan from Arsenal. The 19-year-old is clearly well thought of by the Gunners, who signed him as recently as June, and the Brazilian has been given six competitive, first-team appearances by Mikel Arteta.
Nonetheless, Marquinhos may start on the bench due to the form of Kieran Dowell and Onel Hernandez, who have starred in both league victories under David Wagner, who may be keen to give the rejuvenated duo another window to earn a new deal, with both out-of-contract this summer.
In fact, Wagner could make only one change from the starting XI that beat Preston North End and Coventry 4-0 and 4-2 respectively, with left-back Sam McCallum coming in for Dimitris Giannoulis, who missed a week of training after being forced off at the Ricoh Arena with a calf problem.
With Kenny McLean once again proving a pillar of midfield consistency at this level next to the Samba flair of Gabriel Sara, and Josh Sargeant pressing up from a number 10 role alongside City legend Teemu Pukki, Wagner may feel he has a blueprint similar to his Huddersfield side that won promotion from the Championship in 2016-17 – a high-intensity, 4-2-3-1 outfit.
If Norwich could secure a third straight victory against the leaders, it might put them into the top six and would certainly fill the club with renewed belief about what’s possible this season.
Burnley enjoying elite Kompany
Burnley suffered their biggest setback of the season in November, when they lost 5-2 at promotion rivals Sheffield United, shipping four second half goals and looking vulnerable when defending set pieces.
The Clarets have responded defiantly, though, to that blow at Bramall Lane, winning their last eight league games, giving themselves not only a humongous 17-point gap to third, but also a five point cushion over the Blades, putting them in pole position for the title.
It’s not all been good news for Vincent Kompany’s side, though: they will be without key defender Taylor Harwood-Bellis, on loan from Manchester City, for another two months due to injury, while experienced midfielder Jack Cork is out with another two games via suspension.
Harwood-Bellis’ absence means Belgium Under-21s talent Ameen Al-Dakhil, recruited from Sint-Truiden in January, may have an opportunity to show his potential, while Samuel Bastien will partner Mr Consistency Josh Cullen in deeper midfield, with Josh Brownhill likely given licence to push forward.
It’s the attacking areas, though, where Kompany is spoilt for choice: Nathan Tella or Manuel Benson could start on the right, Anass Zaroury or Scott Twine on the left, and Jay Rodriguez, Lyle Foster or Michael Obafemi up top.
Foster would be the obvious option for the East Lancashire outfit, who have just recruited the striker from Westerlo for a reported £9.84M fee that could rise to £12.52M, but it’s possible the Head Coach is keen to ease in his new star signing, rather than put too much pressure on him from the off.
The tactics board
What has stood out about Norwich under Wagner has been their high-octane pressing, while Burnley under Kompany have impressed through their ice-cool composure at the back at the start of their moves.
As such, this game will be about whether the Canaries catch out their free-flowing visitors in their defensive third, then create chances for Pukki and Sargent through quick, transitional attacks, or whether the Clarets can deny their hosts any encouragement by holding onto the ball under pressure, then playing through the press and utilizing their pace and quality out wide.
Harwood-Bellis’ extreme composure, combined with Cork’s ability to demand the ball on the half-turn, elude an opponent and play, makes the two absentees potentially sizeable losses for the visitors in this type of game, which may hold them back in the first half.
Norwich, though, will not be able to sustain their pressing for 90 minutes, so a drop-off after the interval is plausible, which could be costly for them, especially if Burnley settle into the game and freshen things up with their attacking depth.
Norwich vs Burnley betting tips
Norwich have scored six first-half goals in two games under Wagner, and are clearly intent on starting their games on the front-foot: that hasn’t changed for the German when his Huddersfield sides faced the top teams in the Championship, and it’s unlikely to this time around.
Burnley, however, have scored 32 second-half league goals this season – more than 10 Championship sides have scored full stop – and conceded only 13 after the interval (four coming in one game), with only Sheffield United, Watford and West Brom shipping fewer. As such, the Clarets’ have the wherewithal to grow into games with their tantalising options in reserve.
The best bet, therefore, is on the hosts to get ahead in the first half, but the leaders to earn a point in the second at 12/1. If Lyle Foster comes off the bench, then backing the big-money recruit to score the last goal of the game on his league debut looks a smart pick, too, at 7/1.
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All odds quoted were available at time of writing.