City Aiming To Bounce Back Against An Inform Luton Side At Carrow Road
Dean Smith confirmed that Norwich would be without Andy Omobamidele for the visit of Luton Town on Tuesday evening after he was carried after the pitch in the 2-1 defeat at Watford on Saturday night. The City boss stated " He has an ankle injury. He won't be available for Tuesday. We haven't had a report yet so we don't know how long he'll be out for". Isaac Hayden made his first appearance for the club coming on as a half time substitute in the defeat on Saturday but Smith said that the Newcastle loanee still needs managing in his return. In other news, Giannoulis is back in full training and could feature in the squad for Tuesday night while Liam Gibbs is expected to be placed on the bench after Smith admitted rushing the youngster back too quickly.
As for Nathan Jones' Luton side, they have no fresh injury concerns from the weekend as they picked up a massive 3-1 win over Queen Park Rangers at Kenilworth Road. The Hatters named an unchanged side going into that match and it's expected that they will do the same as they travel down to Carrow Road. The two sides last met in March of 2021 when the Canaries stopped a three match losing streak against the Hatters which stretched back to their FA Cup fourth round exit in 2013. A day in which current England captain Harry Kane was subbed off at half time for the Canaries and the Hatters became the first conference side since 1989 to knock out a top-flight outfit.
After play-off semi final heartbreak last season, Luton Town have bounced back strong once again under the fantastic leadership of Nathan Jones. The Welshman is currently in his second spell at the football club after a failed time at Stoke City in between but Jones seems to be the perfect fit for the Hatters.
After the narrow defeat in the semi-final last season, they have bounced back strong even after a poor start to the season when the outsiders started to feel like the Hatters could be in trouble. However, after a winless opening four they have come back hard and flown up the league table only losing once since the middle of August. Five wins as well as four draws on this run has left them in seventh place now banging on the door of the play off places once again and hoping that last year would've taught them a few things about how to deal with the pressure.
It's a squad which is filled with three ex Canaries players in Henri Lansbury, Cameron Jerome and Carlton Morris. Lansbury having a very successful loan spell in the 2010/11 Championship promotion season under Paul Lambert while Carlton Morris came through the youth ranks at City and was part of the famous 2013 FA Youth Cup winning side. Does Cameron Jerome really need any introduction? A vital player for the Canaries over his four years at the football club and who can forget his infamous strike at Wembley in the Championship play-off final to put City one nil up after just twelve minutes.
Player To Watch:
The former City striker is my player to watch today due to the fact of his form at the start of this campaign as well as the fact that he might want to prove a few people wrong on his return to Carrow Road.
After the before mentioned FA Youth Cup triumph, Morris had a number of loan spells for the next eight years where he found game time had to come by at times as well as goals. Under Russell Martin had MK Dons, Morris looked to find some form and got his permanent move away from Norwich in January of 2021 when Barnsley came calling for the striker. He had two good seasons with Barnsley hitting just under double figures in both but he couldn't prevent their relegation down to League 1 at the end of last season. Luton Town came in and took the former City man and since then he's gone from strength to strength.
He's got six goals and three assists so far this season while also picking up the Championship Player Of The Month for September. He's got excellent movement for such a six foot two striker and his partner in crime upfront in Elijah Adebayo will prove just as much of a handful for the Norwich defence. Both of them work extremely well together upfront and when you also through in another tall, physical and quick striker in Cameron Jerome off the bench then it's clear to see the City backline will have their work cut out on Tuesday night.
What Do I Expect?
It's a clash of two completely different styles at Carrow Road on Tuesday night with Norwich who like to get the ball on the floor and move it around and Luton who will want a more physical affair with a lot of arial balls up to the front two. Luton have played a 3-4-2-1 all season which has worked very well for them this campaign allowing them to commit numbers forward when necessary but being difficult to break down in defence. Luton seem well drilled and organised as well as the fact Jones has been working with them for years and what I'm saying is that he knows his best team and formation when I don't think that Dean Smith does yet.
I think most of us are screaming out for a change in how Norwich are lining up and I think after back-to-back defeats we might finally get it. Josh Sargent is the top goalscorer in the Championship this season even though for half of the season he hasn't played down the middle. It feels like the time now to play the American down the middle or if not go for the 4-3-1-2 and play both Pukki and Sargent upfront which seemed to be what happened later on in the match at Vicarage Road. The defence is a real worry going into this one after Sam Byram got torn to pieces on Saturday night and we are just crying for one of the injured full backs to be fit again! We are expecting Ben Gibson to come in with Andy being injured but he's looked very shaky in his last few appearances so that's going to be a big worry up against a set of strikers who are bang inform. The team selection will have a big effect on the atmosphere inside the ground tonight, the fans want to see something different which is completely understandable after back-to-back defeats!
Even though, Luton are one of the most inform sides in the Championship this has the feeling of a must-win game for the Canaries off the back of two defeats and looking ahead to two extremely tough away trips to Sheffield United and Burnley. Team selection will definitely dictate the feeling ahead of kick off and I just hope he goes with something different as it's not working now and we need to make a change before it gets worse. I'll stay positive ahead of tonight even though it will be a very tough match. Norwich City 2 Luton Town 1.