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No better time for Nelson to find form

Norwich City columnist Ed Seaman
Norwich City columnist Ed Seaman

Not for the first time this season, Nelson Oliveira has found himself the main talking point in the build-up to the East Anglian derby.

After a promising start to his campaign – which included a recall to the Portuguese national side – the enigmatic striker has found goals hard to come by, having not hit the back of the net in his last 10 games.

In fact, since provoking Ipswich fans in the run-up to City’s 1-0 win at Portman Road in October - for which he was an unused sub - Oliveira has scored just two goals in 19 appearances.

In need of a bit of luck, the 26-year-old was handed the perfect opportunity to end his drought from the penalty spot at Pride Park last Saturday.

Despite a clear lack of confidence, I don’t blame Oliveira for stepping up to take the spot kick – even though his tame effort was comfortably saved by Scott Carson.

To his credit, Oliveira picked himself up and played a crucial role in City’s equaliser – winning a second penalty that James Maddison calmly rolled past Carson to ensure that Daniel Farke’s men travelled home with the least they deserved.

But Nelson knows strikers are judged on goals – and what better time to find form than during the East Anglian derby.

On Mick McCarthy’s men, it will be interesting to see if they can handle playing in front of a big crowd – the 27k expected at Carrow Road will almost double the 13.8k at Portman Road for last week’s goalless draw against Burton.

In all seriousness, we know what to expect from Ipswich – an organised side that will look to hit on the counter.

It will therefore be down to the likes of the impressive Moritz Leitner and City’s talisman Maddison to retain the ball, find the space and hurt Ipswich.

Score first, and I fancy City to win comfortably.

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