ALREADY-RELEGATED Norwich welcome Burnley to Carrow Road for Saturday evening's action from the Premier League. James Cantrill (@JimmyThePunt) shares his thoughts on the fixture.
Norwich vs Burnley | Saturday 18th July 2020, 17:30 | Sky Sports
Rewind to the first game of the season; Norwich took part in a thrilling match at Anfield and despite leaving empty-handed in terms of points, fans and pundits were equally optimistic that they could beat the drop.
The game was slick yet open, Teemu Pukki opened his Premier League account and Todd Cantwell impressed on his top-flight debut. The Canaries went toe-to-toe with the bookies second favourites for the title; they were bested on the night but were dubbed for survival if they could emulate the quality and endeavour they showed during the Premier Leagues curtain raiser.
Fast forward to their penultimate game however and they are already relegated, 10 points adrift at the foot of the league. Despite an early flurry, Pukki's goals dried up and since the turn of the year so have the points. Daniel Farke remained naively loyal to the style of play that saw Norwich rise to the EPL as champions of the second tier, a fatal decision that ultimately cost them as they continued to leak goals.
Due to their sealed fate, it is difficult to say exactly what XI Farke will name, however, I can confirm that Sam Byram, Grant Hanley, Christophe ZImmerman and Moritz Leitner are all ruled out.
Burnley and Sean Dyche, on the other hand, continue to defy expectations as a win Carrow Road would keep their hopes of a spot in the Europa League alive, mathematically at least…
With a slim hope of European football, Dyche won't be resting on his laurels and I expect him to name as stronger side as his has at his disposal. Jack Cork, Ashley Barnes, Ben Mee, Mathew Lowton and Charlie Taylor have all been recently ruled out, however, Jay Rodriguez has been deemed fit enough to be within contention to start.
This means that the Burnley team should be the following; Nick Pope; Phil Bardsley, Kevin Long, James Tarkowski, Erik Pieters; Johann-Berg Gudmundsson, Ashley Westwood, Robbie Brady, Dwight McNeil; Rodriguez and Chris Wood.
Betting Angle: Chris Wood To Score a Header (11/1, Betway)
Wood has scored 33 goals in 102 Premier League appearances, 14 of which have been with his head. This means that he has averaged a goal around every three games and a headed goal in just over every seven games.
Therefore, via the most basic averages he should be around 7/1 to score a header versus the Canaries. Unibet have it priced at exactly this (7/1), however, the likes of William Hill (24/5), Sky Bet (11/2) and Betvictor (11/2) all have him shorter.
This season, the Kiwi has averaged 0.40 goals per-game in the Premier League. This translates to a total of 12 in 30 appearance, of which 42% have been headers which means he's averaged a headed goal every six games this season. All of which suggests that Betway's price of 11/1 for Chris Wood To Score a Header is great value.
What Wood brings to this Burnley team is epitomised by the following statistics. Behind closed doors, in the two games Woods has started, Burnley have averaged 18 crosses and 4.5 corners. In the previous five games in which he did not make the starting XI, Burnley averaged 12.4 crosses and 1.8 corners!
It is worth noting that Burnley are pretty average in terms of total crosses attempted this season. In comparison to the other Premier League sides they are ranked 10th, attempting 671, however, staggeringly McNeil has accounted for 34% of them (228).
No side has conceded more goals this season then Burnley's opposition Nowich (68). Of those, 24% have been via set pieces – which isn't a ridiculous amount – however, four of the last six goals they have conceded have been headers. It is also worth mentioning that no side in the league has conceded more shots on target (184), nor has any side conceded more crosses into their box then the Canaries (378).
Since the restart Norwich had an Expected Goals (xG) of 3.55 – the least in the league – and in their last game against Chelsea their xG output was just 0.06. As the hosts pose no threat they only invite pressure and their last two opponents have averaged an xG of 3.43 against them.
Norwich vs Burnley – Chris Wood To Score a Header (11/1 Betway)