Norwich City host Wigan Athletic at the Carrow Road on matchday two of the 2022-23 EFL Championship season. The Canaries lost their previous game 0-1 away at Cardiff City, and the Latics were held to a goalless draw at home against Preston North End. Their previous meeting in the competition came way back in April 2019, when the result was a 1-1 draw. That season, Norwich won promotion to the Premier League as they won the title. The Canaries also have the better head-to-head record, with four wins to two losses in 10 games (remaining four games ended in a draw).
These stats could prove vital in how this match shapes up:
Expected Goals (xG):
Norwich had an xG of 0.19 in their previous game against Cardiff, which was actually higher than their opponents. The closest any player came to scoring was Kenny McLean, when his shot in the 55th minute generated an xG of 0.14. Other than that, there were not many chances coming their way. For a team that is one of the favourites to get promoted to the Premier League, this may not be good enough, and their finishing ability needs improvement.
Wigan drew 0-0 with Preston in their last game. Yet, according to xG, they should have scored at least two goals. They had three opportunities where the xG was higher than 0.33, with Jason Kerr receiving two of them. The Latics will look to improve their finishing ability as lack of goals could cost them points over the season, which could be crucial for their survival in the second tier of English Football.
Norwich City completed 49 out of 73 progressive passes in their previous game against Cardiff City. The three most successful links were Kenny McLean to Josh Sargent (three), McLean to Max Aarons (two), and Grant Hanley to Todd Cantwell (also two). The Canaries were fairly successful in their ability to make progressive passes, but a little higher success rate will do them wonders and increase the quality of chances created.
Wigan completed 82 out of 94 progressive passes against Preston North End. Goalkeeper Ben Amos passing to Josh Magennis was the most successful link, with nine passes, followed by Max Power to Callum Lang, which had seven, and Joe Bennett to James McClean with five. The outfield players need to step up in their progressive passing from this match as it was the goalkeeper, Amos, who completed the most progressive passes.
Norwich made 95 recoveries against Cardiff, most of which came in their third, while quite a sizeable chunk also came in midfield. Grant Hanley made 14 of these recoveries, followed by Jakob Sorenson and Andrew Omabamidele, with 12 each. The Canaries need to retain possession of the ball better in this game, else there is no use of making recoveries and winning back possession.
Wigan completed 81 ball recoveries against Preston last time out. More than half of these came in the midfield, with a few of them also occurring in the defensive third. Jason Kerr made 14 recoveries, closely followed by Max Power and Tom Naylor, who had 13 and 12, recoveries. The Latics should aim to move the ball upfield quickly after they make a recovery if they are to threaten Norwich.
Norwich City and Wigan Athletic will be looking for their first win this season as they failed to win on the opening matchday. The Canaries might be the favourites to win this clash, but an upset cannot be ruled out.
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