Both of these two clubs will have hopes that they can challenge for promotion this season, despite both of them drawing last weekend. I believe Norwich have a much better chance of being promoted that Sunderland, although both are good teams with quality players and we should be in for a good game.
Championship – Carrow Road, Norwich – 13th August – 13:30 UK Time
Best Odd of: 10/11 at Bet365
Best Odd of: 9/4 at Coral
Best Odd of: 3 at Sky Bet
This is a first home league game for Norwich, who will be looking to have a good home record as they search for promotion, while Sunderland travel in the league for the first time looking to build on their opening day draw. There is not too much between these two and while Norwich are favourites, it certainly wouldn’t be a huge shock to see Sunderland take something from the game. Both teams will be desperate to record their first win of the season, hopefully making it a stepping stone onto bigger and better things.
While Norwich only managed a draw last weekend, I think they will have been pleased with the outcome of that game. They played away at Fulham, a team regarded by many as a genuine promotion contender and after losing the game for a long time, managed to rescue a late point. While everyone wants to start the season with a win, I am sure Norwich will have been thrilled to leave Fulham with a point.
On Tuesday night, Norwich booked their place in the second round of the League Cup thanks to a 3-2 victory over Swindon. Cameron Jerome and Wes Hoolahan, two important attacking players for Norwich, got their names on the scoresheet and that will have done their confidence the world of good.
Sunderland began life in the Championship with a 1-1 home draw against Derby. After falling behind to Derby in the early stages, Sunderland managed to fight back and earn a draw through a Lewis Grabban penalty. They played pretty well in that game, better than I expected to see them and look like they can finish in the top half of the Championship this season.
Sunderland had to wait until Thursday to play their League Cup tie with Bury, a game they eventually won 1-0. The game was much more comfortable for Sunderland than the score line would suggest and in the end they had a pretty easy night at Bury.
Nelson Oliveira scored in the opening game at Fulham after coming off the bench and he may get the chance to start in this game. Cameron Jerome scored on Tuesday night so he is likely to keep his place, but Oliveira may come in and take the place of someone else.
Sunderland are slowly building in the right direction and will look towards their flair players for inspiration going forward. Lewis Grabban, James Vaughan and Aidan McGeady all performed with some credit in the game against Derby and I expect to see those three linking up again in this one.
Top Betting Tips
I think Norwich have a very good team with a chance of promotion, while I cannot say the same about Sunderland. I think Sunderland will do ok, and finish in the top half but they will just fall short when it comes to the promotion race. With this in mind, and with Norwich being the home team on this occasion, I fancy Norwich to win the game and hopefully kick start their promotion push.
I am going to find value by selecting a correct score victory for Norwich as they do not offer good value on the normal 90 minute market. I am going to back Norwich to win this game 2-1, which is available to back at 15/2 with William Hill and Bet365. I think there will be goals in the game, both teams have exciting attacking line ups that can score, and neither are rock solid in defence.
That should lead to a great game for the neutrals and one where we will hopefully see a few goals scored. While I think Sunderland will fall just short, Norwich have a great chance to be promoted this season and this gives us an early opportunity to see them live as they search for their long awaited return to the Premier League.
After an opening day draw that was a very good result, I am backing Norwich to build on that and pick up all three points against Sunderland on Sunday. If they manage to do that, I can see them pushing on from here and starting the campaign very well.