The English Premier League competitors will look to accelerate once again. But only one can get back on track this weekend. Instant reaction would say the 11-6-2 Blues have the edge over the 6-7-6 Canaries, but those two Man City losses have come in its last four games, so it’d be foolish to count out Norwich.
Here’s everything you need to know about their match.
Where: Carrow Road, England
Watch: Fox Soccer Channel
When: Saturday, Dec. 29 at 10 a.m. ET
What They’re Saying
You dominate the game and you lose, you don't think it is possible but this is football. It is the same as last season, like two years ago, like three years ago. I think we played very well, but we had one problem—we need to score and we don't score enough to win, and at this time our strikers need to improve, if you don't score you don't win.
Richard Rae of The Guardian reported that Norwich manager Chris Hughton said his club isn’t cold just yet after their two-match losing streak, which followed their run of 10 matches without a loss.
“We made those two games real tight, and possibly could have got something out of both, so we still have a bit of momentum.”
Most Important Player to Watch: Carlos Tevez
City was shut out against Sunderland by the score of 1-0 and that’s what sparked Mancini’s frustration. Tevez is the team’s leading goal scorer and assist man so he’s the Blues’ best shot to end their offensive struggles.
While his seven goals lead the club, he hasn’t launched a ball past an opposing goalie in five games.
Key Matchup: Robert Snodgrass vs. Joe Hart
Hart has the reputation of being one of the best, if not the best, goalkeeper in Europe. He hasn’t lived up to it lately, though.
The Man City goalie surrendered three goals against Manchester United in a loss earlier this month, and versus Sunderland, Adam Johnson got the better of him.
Snodgrass is tied for the team lead in goals with four and is its leading assist-getter with three. If the Canaries upset the EPL giant, the leg of Snodgrass will have likely played a major part.
Prediction: Manchester City, 2-1
Norwich City had a phenomenal run and it’ll put up a strong fight against Man City, but expect the Blues to walk away with the win. They’re the more talented football club, which, as they know as well as anyone, doesn’t mean much. But after Mancini put his strikers on blast, they’ll respond and bounce back with a vengeance.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.