The next two games will give Saddlers fans something to measure progress against – with a vengeance. Of the out and out favourites for promotion, at home, we have lost narrowly to Leeds and been comprehensively outplayed by Southampton (I firmly believe that they would be well up amongst the favourites without their points deduction and may well yet join in the party at the end of the season, despite their defeat at Elland Road on Saturday). That game will be followed by the visit of second placed Charlton Athletic and another heavily fancied team. Again, if we have pretensions this season, we must be looking for something from these games.
The enforced rest with the game at Bristol Rovers being called off caused means that we have only one doubt for the game, albeit a very important one, as Steve Jones is struggling to recover from his groin strain in time. Assuming he doesn’t make it, I don’t see Hutchings making any changes, other then bringing back Hughes in the centre of defence following his suspension and making the choice of Sansara or Vincent for left back. I think he probably played Vincent at centre back last home game as that meant making the fewest changes, so he could well bring in the experienced man at full back with Hughes returning. I’d expect:
Ince, Weston, Smith, Hughes, Vincent, Till, Mattis, Bradley, Richards, Byfield, Deeney.
As for the opposition, Norwich manager Paul Lambert will have defender Gary Doherty back from suspension for the game. Doherty missed the 2-0 win over Millwall on Boxing Day through a one-game ban after picking up five bookings but he will return to the heart of the defence.
Fellow defender Jens Berthel Askou is still out with a foot injury and midfielder Korey Smith is also out with a thigh problem. Declan Rudd (knee), Luke Daley (thigh) and Owain Tudur Jones (groin) are all still missing.
Dangermen? Take your pick. The Canaries scored their 50th league goal against the Millwall last time out and in-form midfielder Wes Hoolahan will again play behind front two Grant Holt and Chris Martin.
The trio have scored an incredible 45 goals between them in all competitions so far this season.
Norwich have only failed to score in the League once this season. Have a guess who that was against? That 0 – 0 draw looks more and more like one of the very best results this season! We will have to be at our very, very best to get something from this, especially if Jones doesn’t recover from his injury, so I have to go for an away win.