It has been a bit of a reality check for Championship new boys Plymouth Argyle of late and they face yet another difficult task when they play host to Norwich City at Home Park on Saturday afternoon.
- The hosts have picked up just three points out of a possible 15 from their last five league matches
- Norwich’s strong start to the season has taken a hit of late since they have lost two out of their last three
- The Canaries last met Plymouth during the 2008/09 season where they did the double over them
David Wagner’s side have looked promising to start the 2023/24 season but their momentum has slowed of late since they have suffered two defeats across their last three league outings. The Pilgrims are looking to bounce back from a humbling 4-1 defeat away to Bristol City last time out.
Plymouth Argyle Form
It was a dream start for Plymouth in their season opener as they defeated Huddersfield Town 3-1 on their own turf to give their fans a fantastic first day back in the Championship for the first time since 2009/10. A 0-0 draw away to Watford in their second league match of the season meant that Steven Schumacher’s side had made a hopeful start to the campaign.
However, they have suffered defeats against Southampton, Birmingham City, Preston North End and Bristol City since then. Just one victory has come since the opening day, although that also came at home as they recorded a 3-0 triumph over Blackburn Rovers.
Norwich City Form
The Canaries made a blistering start to the new season as they went unbeaten across their first six matches in all competitions. They secured victories over Hull City, Millwall and Huddersfield in the league, whilst they defeated Queens Park Rangers and Bristol City in the EFL Cup.
Nevertheless, Norwich haven’t quite been the same over the past few weeks. That all started with a surprise 2-1 defeat away to Rotherham United. Wagner’s side got back on track with a narrow 1-0 win at home to Stoke City last weekend but couldn’t find the victory midweek as they lost 2-0 at home to Leicester City.
Norwich have won their last three successive meetings with Plymouth and also won 2-1 in their last visit to Home Park in 2008. The Pilgrims recorded three consecutive victories prior to that, however, between 2006 and 2007. The Canaries have taken home the three points in just one of their last eight visits to Devon.
The hosts are expected to be without Michael Cooper, Saxon Earley and Brendan Galloway as they continue to miss out due to long-term injury. Schumacher opted to rest a host of key players midweek so the likes of Finn Azaz, Ryan Hardie and Morgan Whittaker should return to the starting eleven.
Norwich are without Grant Hanley as he continues to recover from a long-term Achilles injury. Joshua Sargent is also out until at least December due to an ankle problem. Jacob Sorensen may be able to rejoin the squad soon since he has been training again, whilst Borja Sainz still needs to return to full fitness. Midfielder Marcelino Nunez has been absent for the past two games so remains in doubt.
With Hardie and Whittaker set to make their way back into the line-up, Plymouth should have a lot more going forward here. The former has already bagged five league goals this term, whilst the latter has four goal contributions in seven appearances.
Jonathan Rowe made a wonderful start to the campaign for Norwich but he has failed to score in any of his last three outings. Gabriel Sara will look to control the midfield, whilst Ashley Barnes is looking to build on his two league goals thus far.
Both Plymouth and Norwich have seen many entertaining games this season and we could be in for another one on Saturday. Schumacher’s side will have the advantage of the home crowd but the Canaries are the stronger team on paper.