Jan 2, 2021 at 3pm UK
NorwichNorwich City
Buendia (62')
FT(HT: 0-0)

James (61')

Preview: Norwich City vs. Barnsley - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Norwich City vs. Barnsley - prediction, team news, lineups: ID:428631: from db_amp
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Championship clash between Norwich City and Barnsley, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Two teams who sit at the right end of the form table meet on Saturday as league-leaders Norwich City take on Barnsley at Carrow Road.

City have experienced a slight wobble in the last week having been beaten by Watford and failing to beat Queens Park Rangers at home, however they still sit three points clear at the summit of the Championship.

If Norwich are wobbling, Barnsley are standing firm, with six wins in their last eight games, including a professional win over Rotherham United in midweek.

Match preview

Daniel Farke will have been disappointed to come away with only a point against QPR, after a penalty from Finnish striker Teemu Pukki put City ahead in the second half. Back came QPR though, and they managed to equalise via a Bright Osayi-Samuel penalty to share the spoils.

The Canaries have lost just twice in their last 17 games, and just once at home all through this season - exactly the kind of form that will see them right amongst the promotion-chasing pack come the end of the season.

It is no coincidence that Norwich's rich vein of form has come about just as Pukki has started finding the back of the net again.

Pukki has scored 11 goals in 20 league appearances this season, as many as he netted in 36 games in the Premier League last year, and Farke will be keen to keep his main man fit if his side are to secure promotion.

Valerien Ismael has made quite the impact at Oakwell since joining the Tykes earlier in the season and is experiencing something of a dream start to his managerial career in England.

After former manager Gerhard Struber navigated the Tykes away from relegation - including a memorable night away to Brentford on the last day of the season - Ismael has taken the team into the top half of the league and is showing no signs of slowing.

Barnsley sit top of the form table and fear no one as they continue to surprise the rest of the division, currently sitting only two points off the playoff places.

To continue this run, the Tykes will need to defy this fixture's history, having not beaten Norwich away from home in the league since 1937, both drawing and losing eight times in their 16 subsequent visits.

Norwich City Championship form: WWWWLD

Barnsley Championship form: WWWLWW

Team News

Farke will be unable to call upon Dutch goalkeeper Tim Krul, young defender Bali Mumba, winger Onel Hernandez, young attacker Adam Idah and right-back Sam Byram.

There are also doubts over German midfielder Lukas Rupp's availability, who will face a late fitness test.

For Ismael, there will be absentees such as Finnish centre-back Aapo Halme, German midfielder Mike Bahre, right-back Jordan Williams and left-back Ben Williams.

Similar to Farke, he will be able to name an unchanged starting XI should he wish to.

Norwich City possible starting lineup:
McGovern; Aarons, Hanley, Gibson, Sorensen; McLean, Skipp; Buendia, Vrancic, Cantwell; Pukki

Barnsley possible starting lineup:
Walton; Sollbauer, Helik, Andersen; Brittain, Kane, Mowatt, Styles; Adeboyejo, Woodrow, Chaplin

We say: Norwich City 2-1 Barnsley

Barnsley could prove to be a real test for Farke's men, and while the Canaries have the firepower to come out on top, it will certainly be a tight encounter. If City can find their top gear, we feel they will have too much for the South Yorkshire outfit, coming away with a narrow win.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

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