While Manchester and England's top two clubs have been going back and forth in the playground squabble over whether the title race is finished or not, Norwich have been quietly getting back to form and picking up points. Even this morning, Roberto Mancini has done his best to play mind games with his United Counterpart, Sir Alex Ferguson, albeit in somewhat broken English/Italian.
However, unlike the last time the two teams met at Carrow Road, when Delia Smith left a famous imprint in the day's events and even less like that painful day in December of last year when Man City took all three points at the Etihad in a 5-1 drubbing against Paul Lambert's men, tomorrow's early Premier League kickoff promises to be a battle of a different nature. Mancini would to well to forget about Manchester United and focus solely on Paul Lambert.
When Manchester United visited in back in February they came up against a resilient and resourceful Norwich side. Had it not been for an excruciating Ryan Giggs volley, the title race could be a great deal closer. Coincidentally, since then, Manchester City have been on a dismal run of away form, having claimed just eight points from the 27 available.
Norwich, too, have seen a slump in form since that game, but have rebounded with class and authority with one of the greatest results in the club's recent history. The Easter weekend proved to be a lucrative one for the canaries with four points taken from their two games, but the win at White Hart Lane will be forever remembered by Norwich fans. Not solely because Spurs possess many world-class (world-class priced) players, but the belief with which the game was won was simply demonstrative.
Tomorrow's match promises to be another close occasion. It is also likely to be high scoring. Both teams love to attack. It's the league's highest scorers against the league's seventh highest. However, Joleon Lescott and Vincent Kompany are returning to fitness in time for the home stretch and Grant Holt will have his work cut out to find the net against the Premier League's stingiest defense.
I'm going for a hopeful 2-2 draw and here's why; in light of the potential unrest in the Manchester City camp this week following the constant press coverage of Mario Balotelli's implosion, the re-immersion of controversial striker Carlos Tevez and Mancini's jumbled claims that Manchester City have lost the title, I anticipate Manchester City's high profile status to take a knock. Whilst the Italian claims that they will need to focus, this is always easier said than done, particularly dealing with high paid players facing somewhat of a wobble in form. Norwich, on the other hand, will show up with no pressure, no expectations, but brimming with confidence following their gritty win over Champion's league chasing Spurs.
If we stick with 4-4-2, if Howson and Hoolahan find the space and if we can avoid defensive errors as we've been able to in recent weeks, we have a shot, just a shot, at taking points from the game.