‘It will be nice to see the bald head again’ – City prepare for daunting double reunion
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One bald head and one furrowed brow – both John Ruddy and Ryan Bennett will be familiar faces awaiting Norwich City when they travel to Molineux to face the Championship leaders, Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Ryan Bennett made only his second start for Wolverhampton Wanderers in October’s 2-0 victory over his former side, as John Ruddy also enjoyed a clean sheet on his Carrow Road return.
Since then, the pair have made more than 50 appearances between them for a side that has won 22 of their 32 games this season – losing just four – and now finds itself 11 points clear at the Championship summit, with Premier League promotion and the EFL title surely a mere formality. Both Bennett and Ruddy, now 27 and 31 years old respectively, have proven there was plenty of life after Norwich City as the Canaries shed their first wedge of wage burden in the summer – the pair among seven players left with expired contracts.
Now both are set for a Premier League return come next season – although one of their former Canaries team-mates hopes their old club makes one more impression at Molineux.
“Of course they are set for the title – have you looked at the table?” smiled City centre-back Timm Klose.
“They are playing very solid football. They haven’t conceded many goals and that’s the basement you need for a great season – score a lot and don’t concede that many.
“They’ve had an unbelievable season but it’s nice to deal with the best teams in this league. It’s nice to go out there and try to prove you are as good as they are.
“It will be nice to see the bald head again. John is such a nice character. He is unbelievable, and the things he achieved here for Norwich in seven seasons were that great. He’s just a great guy.
“And even Ryan, in the dressing room he was always a great character to talk to. So I’ll be happy to see them again but I hope after the game they have no points and we have all the points.”
Ruddy and Bennett played the full 90 minutes as Nuno Espirito Santo’s runaway leaders saw a three-game winning streak end on Saturday with a 1-1 draw at Alex Neil’s 10-man Preston, relying on Helder Costa’s equaliser to earn their 72nd point of the season.
However, Wolves have lost just once in the league – a shock 2-0 home defeat to Nottingham Forest – since they beat Norwich on Halloween some 18 games ago.
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