Can City ace fend off rivals and top the scoring charts?

Norwich City star Teemu Pukki has proven as good as it gets in terms of strikers in the Championship

Norwich City star Teemu Pukki has proven as good as it gets in terms of strikers in the Championship this season. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City ace Teemu Pukki leads the race for the Championship golden boot but can he fend off the challenge from his rivals. Matthew Guy discusses

Sheffield United's Billy Sharp sits second in the Championship scoring charts. Picture: Paul Chester

Sheffield United's Billy Sharp sits second in the Championship scoring charts. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

The Championship promotion race is not the only contest that's hotting up nicely.

Teemu Pukki's two goals in the 4-0 win at Bolton took him to the top of the Championship goalscoring charts with 23 and the Finnish hot-shot has shown no signs of letting up.

His Bolton brace took him one ahead of Sheffield United's Billy Sharp on 22 and in recent weeks Pukki has proved he is far more than an opportunistic poacher.

In Saturday's emphatic victory over the struggling Trotters, Pukki demonstrated significant skill to loft the ball deftly over a helpless Remi Matthews.

Che Adams has had an impressive season at Birmingham City so far. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Ima

Che Adams has had an impressive season at Birmingham City so far. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

It's a far cry from the striker that once struggled at Celtic and he has thrived under Daniel Farke's management, eclipsing his best goals return in a season of 20 at Brondby last season. And he still has more than a quarter of the season to go.

With no indications that Pukki's rich form will cease, Norwich fans will no doubt be salivating over the prospect of one of their own finishing the season as the Championship's top scorer. Yet, as with the competitive nature of the league table, Pukki will have to fend off some strong competition.

Most Read

Sharp looks like his biggest rival – a seasoned professional with vast experience in English football, Sharp will be hoping to displace Norwich's shrewd number 22 come the end of the season.

Of course, Norwich have already felt the full force of Sharp's ability after succumbing to two of his strikes in the recent home draw last month whilst he also bagged an injury time winner in the Blades' win over City at Bramall Lane. Only West Brom and City have scored more goals than Chris Wilder's side this season and Sharp will undoubtedly have more chances to add to his Championship tally.

Brentford's Neal Maupay is one of the most lethal strikers in the second tier. Picture: Paul Chester

Brentford's Neal Maupay is one of the most lethal strikers in the second tier. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

MORE: Canaries boss savours his dynamic duoPeering over the shoulder of Sharp are two hungry English forwards also making their mark this season. Tammy Abraham, on loan at Aston Villa from Chelsea, is part of the next generation of young talent progressing through the ranks of domestic football. Meanwhile Birmingham's 22-year-old Che Adams has started to fulfil his potential, bagging 19 already this season after last year's mere total of five league goals.

Abraham enjoyed a less than prolific spell at Swansea last year in the Premier League, but he has shown himself to be more than adept in the second tier having netted 23 goals for Bristol City on loan last season. It seems only a matter of time before he gets his chance in the Premier League again although he did reject a move to Wolves in the January transfer window.

As for Adams, Birmingham's exciting prospect typifies the notion of 'raw talent' and undoubtedly has the energy and drive to cause serious damage in forthcoming seasons.

Whether he can catch the tally of more established professionals remains to be seen in the current campaign. What is certain though is that the young Englishman is not finished in his attempts to propel Birmingham towards the play-off places.

Looking further down the top-scoring list, some familiar faces crop up, including former Canary Lewis Grabban, now operating for Nottingham Forest, as well as West Brom's Dwight Gayle, a striker who could have been plying his trade at Carrow Road if Alex Neil had his way during his City tenure.

The unpredictability of the Championship means that anything can still happen this season.

However, with these names determined to overtake Pukki's current goal haul, Norwich fans will be hoping that the 28-year-old can continue his prolific trend of finding the back of the opposition net to fend off competition from rival strike-forces.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter