Norwich’s miserable run of only two wins in twelve was prolonged on Saturday evening, as the ten man Canaries were held to a goalless draw at Brentford.
Regardless, there were some positives to take from a game that Norwich probably deserved to win but were also stifled by poor refereeing decisions.
For one, Alex Neil opted for a formation plenty of the Canary faithful have been dreaming of; 3-5-2. Jerome and Oliveira both started the game, with fan-favourite Timm Klose implemented back into the teamsheet at the expense of Bassong.
However, the game’s biggest talking point came on eighty minutes; an extremely harsh red card was shown to Robbie Brady for a seemingly 50-50 sliding challenge, Norwich’s second dismissal in two games.
The dramatic change in both formation and players utilised by Alex Neil was certainly what the fans have been crying for, but not necessarily what they expected given the arguably obstinate one-up-front lineups always picked by the manager.
Now it’s a case of carrying forward the positives from Brentford to Monday’s home game against Derby, who Norwich lost to in the reverse fixture. Steve McClaren’s Derby are the form team in the league, having won eight of their last ten games. Despite this, they ended 2016 in slight disappointment with a goalless draw at home to Wigan.
Here is the lineup I predict Alex Neil will opt for against Derby on Monday.