Fortune will favour the brave in Norwich City’s battle for Premier League survival
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Huge, massive, ginormous, gigantic, humungous.Plenty of adjectives are being thrown around to describe the enormity of Saturday's battle between the Canaries and the Black Cats.
There are a few who are trying to play things down. It's not a winner-takes-all clash, they claim. Survival isn't a two-horse race, they argue.
For me, which ever team wins will stay at football's top table while the loser will join Villa and Toon heading through the trap door.
A draw will leave things firmly in the balance.
The match is certainly the most important for City since the play-off final about 320 days ago. And it's the most significant at Carrow Road since...? (suggestions welcome).
The key to success at Wembley last May was taking the game by the scruff of the neck, going on the attack and bossing the opposition.
That is exactly the approach I want to see against Sunderland.
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They are fragile and flaky. If we can get early momentum we'll have a great chance.
Whether or not Timm Klose plays will clearly be key for the Canaries, especially with the stabilising impact he has had in recent weeks.
Even more important, however, is the effectiveness of our offensive force against our big rivals.
At times – including during that brilliant win against Newcastle – Alex Neil's men have looked cohesive going forward.
In other weeks – such as at Palace – the story has been different.
Dieumerci Mbokani was brutally dominant two weeks ago but too isolated seven days on. Steven Naismith hasn't reproduced his classy debut against Liverpool and we have yet to see the best of him in support of the front man.
Matt Jarvis is another player who hasn't been at his best lately. He contributed to just a nine pc success rate in the 22 crosses delivered by City at Palace.
I'd like to see Nathan Redmond return on the flank and I back him to reproduce some of the goal scoring exploits at Wembley as well as at the Stadium of Light in the reverse fixture with Sunderland in August.
Robbie Brady is my man for the left and I want central midfielders Jonny Howson and Gary O'Neil to continue to be bold and positive.
So sad to hear about legend's dementia battle
I have been supporting the Canaries for nearly four decades and have been fortunate to have seen some true greats pull on the City shirt.
Keelan, Duncan Forbes, Malky, Hucks, Iwan, Eadie, Flecky, Crook, Bowen, Channon, Martin O'Neill...I could go on for a long time.
They were stars in different ways from rock solid defenders to exciting flair players to prolific goalscorers.
The classiest Canary I have ever seen was without doubt Martin Peters.
I was a starry-eyed youngster when the England World Cup winner signed for £50,000 in 1975.
During five years with City he made just over 200 appearances and was twice player of the season.
Peters oozed quality in the twilight of his career and it was so easy to have seen why he had starred on the very highest stage for his country.
It is heartbreaking to hear of his battle with Alzheimer's, which means he sometimes cannot remember his daughter's name.
Peters, now 72, has not been able to attend any of the celebrations to mark 50 years since the World Cup win.
His story is similar to that of fellow City legend Duncan Forbes.
It is such a cruel disease and we can only hope that advances can be made in dementia research.