Norwich City Under-23s make the lengthy journey to Northumberland FA tonight to play Newcastle United Under-23s in the second division of Premier League 2.
It’s been an almost perfectly average start to the season for Norwich, who sit 7th in the league with one win, two draws, one defeat, and as many goals scored as they have conceded (five).
A win on Tyneside tonight (7pm KO) could see City climb as high as third in the standings.
As for Newcastle, the season hasn’t got going the way they would have hoped. A run of three defeats was more recently curtailed with a win at Fulham, where Thomas Allen netted both of United’s goals.
But defeats against Reading (6-0), West Ham United (2-1) and Manchester United (4-0) have left them second from bottom ahead of tonight’s game, and with the worst goal difference in the division. Only local rivals Sunderland have suffered a more painful start to the season points-wise.
Discipline also appears to have been a problem, with two Newcastle players seeing red in those opening four fixtures.
One end to the other
Much of City’s squad head to Newcastle tonight off the back of a 3-1 defeat in the Leasing.com Trophy at Portsmouth on Saturday afternoon.
It’s a lot of travelling from the south to Norwich and then Norwich to the north, but playing multiple games within a week is something young players must learn to adapt to, as David Wright said in his post-match interview on Saturday.
“If you play in the Championship or in the EFL full stop, it’s generally Saturday/Tuesday for most of the year,” he said. “We’ve got to prepare our boys for this type of busy schedule.”
Goalkeeper Archie Mair echoed that sentiment, adding that the squad will be capable of handling the workload. “The boys will need to recover well and be ready for Newcastle,” he said.
“I’m sure some people will still be sore on Monday, but we all need to dig in. We should be fit enough to manage to do that.”
Newcastle United U23s v Norwich City U23s kicks off at 7pm tonight and you can follow the action on Twitter @NorwichCityAcad.