Premier League 2 action continues as Norwich City Under-23s host newly appointed category one academy side Crystal Palace at the Lotus Training Centre this Friday (5pm KO).
Going into this game with something to prove after a 3-0 loss to Aston Villa last week, David Wright’s side will be looking to get back to their best form with a win over Palace.
The Eagles have only played one league game in their new category so far this season, taking a hard-earned 3-3 draw against West Bromwich Albion.
Regular first-team striker Christian Benteke featured in this lineup as he returns from injury, leaving him potentially involved once more against City on Friday.
There aren’t any historical results to look back on ahead of this fixture either, as it’ll be the first time the sides have ever played each other on an academy level, adding some significance to what would normally be the usual league match.
Having not played Crystal Palace before, U23s goalkeeper Jon McCracken says the team are looking forward to figuring out the Eagles, adding that it’s a good chance to come up against new styles of player.
“It’s the first time we’ve all played Crystal Palace with them just getting promoted to category one status.
“It’s a bit of a mystery coming up against a different team and boys you’ve never really played against before, but that’s what it is, you’re not going to get the same players every week.
“Everybody is looking forward to it, we see it as another chance to impress more people. I know they’re a decent academy, so it should be good.”
Looking back on the 3-0 loss to Villa, McCracken says the team are hoping to put the loss behind them and get back to winning ways, starting with taking all three points from Palace.
“The Villa game was quite a tough one, we were behind from the middle of the first-half, so we were chasing the game from 20 minutes onwards.
“It’s just about trying to keep the boys positive whenever we’re down, we try stick to the way we play and get the boys confident in what’s expected of them.
“It wasn’t our best game, probably one we’d want to forget about quite quickly, I don’t think we were really at it from the start. It’s definitely one we’ll put behind us and look to get back.
“I’m hoping together we can get back on track and back to winning ways by playing the way we normally play and get right up against Palace.”