Across the Border: Leitner has been key to Norwich City’s style of play
Four points from two long distance away games this week should be considered a decent return for table-topping Norwich City.
While Tuesday night’s stalemate at lowly Hull ended a run of six straight victories – and was to some extent disappointing - we can certainly cut Daniel Farke and his promotion-chasing Canaries some well-deserved slack.
As I eluded to after the Millwall win earlier this month, perhaps the most impressive things about City’s surge up the table has been the style with which it has been achieved.
Key to that possession-based football is Moritz Leitner - and his absence highlighted just how important he is when it comes to Farke’s philosophy.
As I’ve said on many previous occasions, Moritz is a player with immense quality and has the ability to dictate the tempo of the game through his use of the ball.
And the stats back that up, with Moritz averaging 69.4 passes a game - the second highest in the league.
He also has a pass success rate of 84.8 per cent - despite the fact his first thought is often to move the ball forward. Perhaps most importantly, Moritz seems to have found happiness at Norwich after difficult spells at Lazio and Augsburg.
Farke will be desperate to have him available for tomorrow’s visit of Rotherham - the first of two home games against sides placed towards the bottom of the table.
I’m not comfortable when it comes to describing games as favourable, but it would be naive not to acknowledge that City have a good chance to pick up six points and cement their place at the top.
But again, that’s not to underestimate our visitors, who are unbeaten in seven games - albeit six of those have been draws.
There will certainly be expectation on City to pick up three points.