Norwich v Blackburn: Canaries can clinch victory in open encounter

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CHAMPIONSHIP specialist James O'Rourke (@JamesOR1) takes a look at Saturday night's showdown between table-toppers Norwich and Blackburn at Carrow Road.

Norwich v Blackburn | Saturday 27th April 2019, 19:30 | Sky Sports

It is no coincidence that all three league leaders in the EFL have stumbled to a degree in recent weeks. Luton sit top of League One, have one win in their last four, whilst now-champions of League Two Lincoln have two wins from their last seven.

Whilst this is anything but disastrous form, it just goes to show getting over the line is never routinely done. Just ask Norwich, who have drew four matches in succession, three of which were to teams in the bottom half of the table. The Canaries shall be looking to get the job done on Saturday night, when Blackburn Rovers visit Carrow Road.

Whilst I can hear all of you shouting that realistically it is done already, you just know that everyone connected with Norwich won’t be entirely happy until that little P shows up next to their name of the league table. A C could very well follow it in terms of the title, but you’d expect Sheffield United to defeat already relegated Ipswich at home earlier in the day.

Also, let’s not forget, Blackburn are actually in better recent form, having won all of their previous four. That included a weekend victory over relegated rivals Bolton at Ewood Park. Beating East Midlands duo Derby and then away at Nottingham Forest being other notable scores of late.

What we can be sure of is that Daniel Farke will want his side to put on a show in this encounter. They won’t want to stumble across the line in front of the TV cameras. The German will want his Norwich to do what Norwich do best. They’ve not actually lost a match since the trip to Preston in February, so they’re unbeaten in 12. Those four draws will be grating at Farke however, and he is calling upon one more big effort.

This has been a particular kind fixture to Norwich over the years. They’ve unbeaten in the previous five clashes; four of which has seen them claim all the points. That included the earlier season encounter in Lancashire, when a late goal from, you’ve guessed it, Teemu Pukki secured the points.

It is important to get on early if you want a play on this game. Considering the rest of the division play earlier in the day, and then Leeds and Aston Villa on the Sunday, then odds are likely to be up and down to a degree. Nevertheless, Norwich will be focusing on getting the job done, so they can really party in front of their own supporters.

Goals are normally the name of the game when Norwich are involved. They’ve scored for 25 games running, whilst they have conceded in 70% of their Championship games as well. That means 66% of their league encounters has seen both teams score, which is quite incredible for a side sitting at the top of the standings.

Blackburn see an average of 3.50 goals in their league away assignments so far. 16/22 has ended over the 2.50 goal line, proving that they like to play quite openly. With them in mid-table, there is no real need for them to approach this match with Norwich and play for a draw. They’ll want to spoil the party and earn a scalp themselves.

However, the reality is that when matches are open, it generally favours the stronger team. Norwich are the leading scorers in the division, and have netted 28 more times than Rovers, too.

Norwich to win and Both Teams To Score is an attractive 37/20 (888) punt. We’ll keep it fairly simple for this one.

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Norwich v Blackburn – Norwich to win and Both Teams To Score (37/20 888)

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