Our fans’ panel look ahead to Leeds United’s clash at Norwich City.
Leeds make the trek to the mystical east with its exotic ways and history at every corner, so that it feels like one has stepped back in time.
Norwich. Despite its infamous one-way system, the jewel of Norfolk holds many charms: the cathedral, the public gardens, some excellent supermarkets and many will think of extending their stay overnight in one of the several charming hotels that dot the bustling dual-carriageways.
Convenient for town yet with ample parking and an all-you-can-eat buffet, what’s not to like. Back of the net. Let’s hope Leeds make the back of the net bulge and come away with a trawl of three points. Indeed, the trip to East Anglia’s major city isn’t all about the excellent leisure facilities and top-notch weekend breaks.
Besides points to bag, or net in this case, there are points to prove, not least for head coach Paul Heckingbottom, who is in the process of deciding which fish, or in his case players, he wishes to take home and which ones he wants to throw back into the sea, or go out on loan.
One of those fish in Norwich will be a fish out of water as Leeds might well be without a regular right-back.
What the club will have though is a fish on a new two-year contract and that fish is Spanish.
Like a sardine, I suppose, but a lot more classy, like a salmon but Spanish and that fish, or Spanish salmon, is Pablo Hernandez.
He is, indeed, a big fish to land, though not literally. He is a rather small man but he is big in terms of being important to Leeds’ plans, and he will want to celebrate hooking up to the club with a goal and a win.
So enjoy the Norfolk nights, Leeds fans.
Prediction: Norwich City 0 Leeds United 1.
Two games to go, and with everything going on in and around Leeds United this week, the football seems almost incidental! EFL judgements on the Wolves set up and a trip of a lifetime to Zika-infested Burma –it’s hard to keep up with it all.
But Leeds will go to Norwich with another tremendous backing from the ever-loyal fans and should be looking to give nothing less than the 100 per cent we all expect.
Norwich, like Leeds, are another of the very few sides not involved in any promotion or relegation issues and so the hope must be for an open, honest game of entertaining football, especially as many of the Leeds contingent will be in their traditional last-away-game fancy dress outfits! Let’s have some fun.
Paul Heckingbottom could do with a first away victory with Leeds too to help boost that win ratio that has been doing the rounds on social media. I don’t think the table lies at this time of the year so I’m expecting a close game and a draw seems the most likely outcome.
Prediction: Norwich City 2 Leeds United 2.
Some good news at last that Pablo Hernandez has signed a new deal. I felt there was an air of inevitability about him leaving the club and am delighted to be proved wrong.
He has the talent, attitude and experience to be the heart of a successful team and the club should reward his loyalty with a decisive summer of recruitment.
Hernandez’s new contract is a welcome distraction from the PR fail of announcing a post-season trip to Myanmar. Instead of the play-off push that many of us anticipated in August, we’ll instead be trekking to the other side of the world on a short tour that has attracted outrage and disdain from many quarters. For a supposed PR expert, it has been hugely unimpressive from Andrea Radrizzani.
A trip to Norwich is almost a sideline and set to be a non-event. There’s always a bit of atmosphere at the last away of the season as we reconcile with another wasted campaign but this is likely to be another defeat as we stumble towards the sanctuary of the transfer window and (hopefully) wave goodbye to our underperformers.
Prediction: Norwich City 2 Leeds United 0.
it’s the last trip of the season for the brave army that follows the club around the country. They are superb supporters and, as I’ve said before, deserve better fare than they have been served this season.
Loyalty is commendable but if things don’t improve, results wise, that will be tested next season.
Norwich, like ourselves, have under achieved and sit in mid-table. If you look at their squad, it should be capable, at the very least, of challenging for a top-six place. Daniel Farke will have to improve or he will follow former boss, Alex Neil, out of the door.
Wes Hoolahan plays his last game at Carrow Road on Saturday as he is leaving the club in the summer. Coach Paul Heckingbottom will decide on keeping the XI that started against Barnsley or include one or two of the youngsters from the under-23 squad that finished their season with a resounding 4-0 win over Bristol City at Ashton Gate. Sam Dalby and Jack Clarke deserve at least a place on the bench and look a better option than either Jay-Roy Grot or Pierre-Michel Lasogga.
Lasogga who will, hopefully, return to Germany in the summer.
The recent performances of Bailey Peacock-Farrell, Tom Pearce and Paudie O’Connor give me hope for the future and, if the owner can simply concentrate on getting at least four quality signings in the summer, next season just might be a good one and not stop dramatically in December!
Hopefully, Leeds can reward ‘Billy Bremner’s Barmy Army’ with the first away win since the 2-1 success at Burton Albion on Boxing Day.
Leeds beat Norwich earlier in the season 1-0, Pontus Jansson with the goal.
Prediction: Norwich City 1 Leeds United 2.
In the corresponding fixture last term, this game was a thriller.
Pontus Jansson scored his first goal for the club before diving into the crowd to look for his magic hat.
A bloke called Chris Wood hit the second and the game seemed to be heading for a draw until Ronaldo Vieira smashed a stinging free-kick in to give the Whites the win in the last minute.
Even the more optimistic amongst us will not be going to Carrow Road expecting to be thrilled again.
Just like the Whites, Norwich have had a disappointing season.
They have an identical points tally to Leeds and a marginally poorer goals difference. Thank goodness we beat Barnsley last time out.
It was a result which was as welcome as the previous week’s sunshine in a grey spring only enlivened by the stand-out performances of our young guns.
It looks like Pablo Hernandez is going to sign up for next term and so let’s be positive.
Prediction: Norwich City 1 Leeds United 2.