Norwich City will hopefully be eyeing up the 100-point mark as they aim to wrap up Premier League return
Today’s return to Championship action at Preston marks the start of the final chapter of our quest to make an immediate return to the Premier League.
Other than a few early gremlins, the story so far has made for extremely enjoyable reading. The Canaries are sitting pretty at the top of the table on 83 points, with eight games left to play.
Behind us in second are Watford – with 75 points – and Swansea are a further six points back in third, albeit with a game in hand.
In terms of what is still required for promotion, three wins would probably be enough considering Watford still have to play both Swansea and Brentford.
That said, I’d like to see Daniel Farke’s side kick on towards 100 points, reflecting the dominance we have seen for much of the campaign.
As for the international break, the scheduling of matches could hardly have been less convenient. Eight players were involved in match-day squads across Europe on Wednesday night, less than 48 hours ahead of the game at Deepdale.
This includes Teemu Pukki in Switzerland, Max Aarons, Oliver Skipp and Todd Cantwell in Slovenia and Dimitris Giannoulis in his native Greece. The most important thing though is that it appears everyone has returned with a clean bill of health, ready for the final push.
One player we will have to do without is Ben Gibson, whose season has been ended thanks to an ankle injury picked up late on in the 1-1 draw with Blackburn.
As I wrote last week, Gibson has been immense this season and his presence at the heart of our defence will be sorely missed.
However, Gibson’s misfortune has opened the door for Christoph Zimmermann, who has had to spend large spells of the season watching on from the sidelines.
He often comes in for criticism from some fans, but for me, over the last four years has shown he will never let this club down.