Norwich City will beat Ipswich Town in East Anglian derby if they play to their potential
The paths taken by Norwich and Ipswich since the first East Anglian derby of the season in early September could not be more different.
While Daniel Farke’s Canaries head into the weekend top of the Championship, our Suffolk rivals sit at the foot of the table, eight points adrift, desperately trying to fight off relegation to the third tier for the first time since 1957.
Out has gone Paul Hurst and his new era – replaced by former City boss Paul Lambert, who has failed to provide the new manager bounce those with an unfortunate blue persuasion would have hoped for.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the A140, Farke’s Canaries come into the game full of confidence on the back of a stunning 3-1 win at Elland Road last Saturday.
Given the circumstances, it was arguably one of the most complete performances I have ever witnessed (albeit via the television) from a team wearing yellow and green.
It would almost be unfair to single out individual efforts, but I cannot go further without once again praising Tom Trybull and Mario Vrancic, who were nothing short of outstanding.
Both famed for technical ability, it was the tenacity of their defensive efforts which were particularly vital, especially when you consider that City had just 37 per cent possession – a season low.
Looking forward, the way City were able to deal with such an intense atmosphere, and even enjoy themselves, bodes well for the remainder of the season – which continues with Sunday’s East Anglian derby.
Make no mistake, Lambert will have his side fired up for this fixture, hoping that a victory can inspire an unlikely survival bid.
From a City perspective, it’s a case of more of the same. Play to our potential and we will have far too much for our struggling visitors.
My message to both sets of fans is enjoy, it may well be the last derby for a while...