Meet the opposition: Norwich City
As Swansea City prepare to welcome Championship leaders Norwich City to the Liberty Stadium this Saturday (3pm), we take a closer look at the men from Carrow Road.
What’s their story?
Norwich are in their third consecutive year in the Championship having been relegated in 2015-16.
The Canaries are no strangers to top-flight football having enjoyed four separate stints in the Premier League dating back to its inaugural season in 1992-93, when they finished third.
That was the club’s best ever league finish.
After dropping into the third tier in 2009 – the first time they had been outside the top two divisions since 1960 – Norwich clinched back-to-back promotions under Paul Lambert, pipping the Swans to the Championship’s top two in 2010-11.
They were relegated in 2015 but bounced back at the first attempt thanks to play-off success under Alex Neil.
Norwich have twice won the League Cup, in 1962 and 1985, but perhaps their finest hour came when they won at Bayern Munich in the 1993-94 Uefa Cup.
How’s their form?
Excellent. After a 14th-place finish last season, Norwich look like being promotion contenders in 2018-19.
They made a slow start to this campaign, winning one and losing three of their first five league fixtures – although the defeats were against West Brom, Sheffield United and Leeds.
Since Leeds won 3-0 at Carrow Road in August, though, Norwich have been beaten in only one of their last 12 Championship outings.
There have been nine victories during that sequence, including five in five ahead of the trip to Wales – against Nottingham Forest, Aston Villa, Brentford, Sheffield Wednesday and Millwall.
The Lions win last time out was by 4-3, with Norwich scoring twice in stoppage time to seal a remarkable comeback success.
Norwich have lost only once in eight away league fixtures this term, at Bramall Lane on the third weekend of the season.
Who’s the boss?
Daniel Farke. Something of an unknown quantity in his playing days, Farke spent his entire career as a forward in the lower leagues of German football.
He took his first managerial job when aged just 32 as he stepped in to take charge of his beloved SV Lippstadt, where he had three spells as a player.
Farke led Lippstadt from the sixth tier of German football to the fourth before taking over as coach of Borussia Dortmund II.
Appointed Norwich coach in 2017, Farke is really starting to make his mark in East Anglia.
Who are the key men?
Goalkeeper Tim Krul, who has bags of Premier League experience, is Norwich’s current No. 1.
Swiss international defender Timm Klose has been ever-present this season and Christoph Zimmerman, who followed Farke from Dortmund, has impressed alongside him in the absence of injured skipper Grant Hanley.
Youth products Max Aarons and Jamal Lewis are among a group of young players who have thrived under Farke.
Moritz Leitner, another of the six Germans in Farke’s squad, has been impressive in midfield, where Alex Tettey – one of the survivors from Norwich’s Premier League days – has also been a regular.
Argentinian winger Emiliano Buendia is among a crop of bright young wide players, while Norwich have two in-form forwards in the shape of Jordan Rhodes and Teemu Pukki.
Rhodes has scored eight times since joining on a season-long loan from Sheffield Wednesday, while Finland international Pukki has 10 Norwich goals to his name already having signed on a free from Brondby in the summer.