The hosts will be on the back foot if Preston continue the trend of getting off to a flyer.
Norwich v Preston - Saturday 15:00
Fast starts are the key to success for Preston. A season that appeared to be going nowhere has suddenly burst into life with a determined response to the embarrassing 5-0 defeat at Brentford. In six subsequent matches, North End have seized the initiative on 10, 7, 19, 5, 10 and 6 minutes respectively, going on to win the first half on each occasion (aggregate score 9-1).
Backing them to win the first half at Carrow Road might turn out to be a case of closing the gate after the horse has bolted. But with odds of 5/1 available, the market is hardly paying due respect to the trend. On the road, Preston been ahead at Bournemouth in the EFL Cup, plus Birmingham and Brighton, two of the Championship’s best first-half teams on home soil.
The fact that Norwich are in opposition should hold no fears. Yes, the Canaries are the second-best team in the division according to both the league table and shot data but there’s an important caveat: Cardiff, Wigan, Burton and Rotherham have been the last four teams to visit - all bottom-five material by my reckoning - and they’ve all found the scoresheet.
That said, the Canaries have scored an impressive 22 goals in nine outings since their watershed moment (the 3-0 defeat at Birmingham), which includes trips to the City Ground, Goodison, St James’s Park and Molineux, and they would no doubt fancy their chances of rescuing something from an interval deficit. Throw in the Preston/Draw half time/full time bet at 20/1.