The Premier League fixture computer today did Chris Hughton’s Canaries several favours as the 2012-2013 fixture list was announced.
Though the Canaries will start the new campaign on the road with a trip to Fulham on August 18, they then follow that with a home clash with QPR.
If the weekend papers are to be believed, the visit of Rangers should include a homecoming for ex-Canary keeper Robert Green.
The England international is due to sign a deal with Mark Hughes’ men this Wednesday as he swaps the east end of London for the west.
Tottenham (a) will be viewed in something of a different light following events of this Easter, before City entertain newly-promoted West Ham United back at Carrow Road.
On paper, at least, those opening four games do not look the worst in the world.
The trick – as ever – is always to get off to a decent start; rack up points on the board early.
And whilst currently managerless Spurs might be rather more wary of their visitors this round as Tottenham old-boy Hughton makes a return to White Hart Lane, Norwich ought to look at the games against Fulham, QPR and West Ham as ones where opportunity knocks.
With Newcastle, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal to then follow before a first reunion with ex-boss Paul Lambert, the Canaries will need to make the most of that inviting start.
Their season ends in rather trickier circumstance – with an away trip to reigning champions Manchester City.
If the title race proves as close as last year’s contest between the two Manchester giants, the Canaries could find themselves centre stage with a global TV audience of millions glued to their seats in anticipation of further high drama.
Christmas should also go with a bang in Norfolk – given that both Chelsea and Manchester City are on the festive guest list in Norfolk.
All in all, on first glance there would appear to be little to be unduly worried about.
In the meantime, Canary fans await Hughton’s first move in the summer transfer market with keen interest.
The new Norwich boss insisted on his arrival that he would not be rushing headlong into the transfer fray; that he will take a long, hard look at his existing squad before splashing the cash.
His most pressing engagement, one suspects, will be to settle the Grant Holt issue – one way or another.
West Ham remain the one club linked to the 31-year-old’s signature, though reports have also linked Sam Allardyce with a move for Blackburn’s Yakubu.
Veteran full-back Adam Drury also appeared to be on the verge of signing a new deal for Lambert before the Scot departed to Villa Park; he, too, will be seeking some certainty over the next couple of weeks.
Hughton has at least confirmed that he is happy to follow Lambert’s pre-season schedule which includes week-long training camp in Austria rounded off with a summer friendly against Hertha Berlin on July 21 in Gleisdorf.
Four days later and the Canaries’ deepening friendship with Glasgow giants Celtic will continue with a trip to Celtic Park, before returning somewhat closer to home with a trip to London Road, Peterborough, on Saturday, July 28.
The club’s two, home fixtures will certainly whet the appetite for the Premier League campaign to follow – Dutch champions and European legends Ajax being the guests at Carrow Road on Tuesday, July 31, before Borussia Monchengladbach offer City one, final dress rehearsal on Saturday, August 11.
After that it is the real thing – kicking off down by the Thames on August 18th.
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