Norwich City last lost a competitive home game to Barnsley in 1937 – and despite 17 league clashes since, the record holds strong. With the Canaries looking to push on and tally up further points to secure promotion, it’s not a record they’d be keen to break.

Norwich come into the tie having secured just one point from their last potential six – they’ll be hoping to make it four-from-nine to keep Brentford at bay in 2nd. A win puts them six points ahead of Brentford, although the Bees will have a game in-hand given their postponement this week.

The Canaries’ last five home games generated an agreeable 11 points, whilst Barnsley’s last five away saw three wins (Rotherham, Wednesday and Birmingham) with two losses.

Significantly, Barnsley lost away to in-form and 3rd placed Swansea just two weeks ago, whilst only winning against 18th, 22nd and 23rd placed teams. Seemingly like a fair mid-table team, Barnsley will have to press hard and overturn their statistics to take down the table-toppers.

This season, Norwich scored first 59% of the time against Barnsley’s 41%, so fans should expect a Norwich lead. However, throughout the season, Norwich haven’t tended to score early, being ahead at HT only 27% of the games so far.

There is a trend of second-half goals, especially clear at home, where they have nearly double the goals in the second half than the first. Barnsley, however, have a 62% goal-scorer record in the first half which could buck the ‘Norwich-lead’ trend.

To support this, Norwich have a 55% “both teams to score” stats for home games, whilst Barnsley have a 64% away “BTTS” record. This in itself should make for an interesting game, as we can assume a bore-draw is off the cards!

Norwich may be relying on Emiliano Buendia, scoring in three of the last four games, to pile on early pressure.

However, in three of the last four away games for Barnsley, Cauley Woodrow has scored, bagging before the 15-minute mark twice, against both Rotherham (8′) and Sheffield Wednesday (14′).

If a first-half upset should occur, it may be from the boot of Woodrow which would liven up the game and put some pressure on top-of-the-table Norwich if the Tykesintend to take any points.

Rightfully so, Norwich enter the new yaear both top of the table and favourites to win their first game of 2021.