Norwich are looking to end a run of eight opening-day fixtures without a win when they take on Wigan at the DW Stadium tomorrow.
Paul Lambert’s newly-promoted side will also be hoping the game goes better than their last away fixture in the Premier League, when then-manager Nigel Worthington took his troops to Craven Cottage in May 2005.
Needing a win to guarantee survival, the Canaries were stuffed 6-0 by Fulham and sent packing from the top flight.
Looking at bwin’s 3Way football betting market, it would appear that the Canaries are heading for another defeat tomorrow, with a Wigan win priced at 21/10, a Norwich victory available at 5/2 and a draw at 9/4.
However, Norwich will draw on the fact that Wigan lost 4-0 at home to Blackpool on the opening day of the 2010-11 season – and this after the Latics had been highly-fancied to inflict a heavy defeat on the previous season’s Championship play-off winners.
While another 4-0 success is unlikely to be on the cards – the scoreline is priced at 150/1 – the Canaries could yet shock their hosts and emerge from the encounter with three points.
Lambert has overseen a miraculous transformation during his time at Carrow Road, with Norwich turned from League One laughing-stocks into a Premier League outfit.
Although some pundits have called into question the Scot’s policy of signing players without extensive top-flight experience, Lambert’s track-record suggests he can successfully manage the transition between the Championship and Premier League.
With this in mind, Norwich can be expected to possess all the attributes they have displayed in the last two seasons while marrying this with the greater ability secured through the signing of seven new players.
As such, the Canaries will at least be good bets to score at odds of 2/5 – they were the top offensive team in the Championship last season – and perhaps to score the last goal at odds of 27/20.
This is based on the fact they struck 22 times in the final 15 minutes of matches in the 2010-11 campaign.
A successful £25 free bet on Norwich to score last, available to new customers who sign up for a bwin account, would return £58.75.
And with Wigan having lost star man Charles N’Zogbia to Aston Villa over the summer and being fourth-favourites for the drop, Norwich could yet use these characteristics to banish the painful memories of six years ago and start their season with a win.
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