Poll: Would you start birthday boys Ricky van Wolfswinkel and Gary Hooper up front together for Norwich City against Newcastle United?
11:04 27 January 2014
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Ricky van Wolfswinkel celebrates his 25th birthday today – and there are no prizes for guessing the present he is hoping for most, a Norwich City goal.
The £8m marque signing is still stuck on one goal, his opening-day header during the 2-2 draw against Everton at Carrow Road which City fans hoped would be the first of many.
But a toe muscle problem badly disrupted the Dutchman’s debut Premier League season and he has had to start afresh.
Will Chris Hughton start van Wolfswinkel again when the Canaries host Newcastle United tomorrow night?
Will the City boss pair the former Sporting Lisbon man with top scorer Gary Hooper - who also celebrated his birthday yesterday, turning 26 - for the third league match in succession?
Can Norwich win successive league matches for the first time this season?
Following the vital 1-0 home win against Hull City, the potential of a silver lining to the grey cloud hovering over Carrow Road has emerged for the first time since a nightmare festive period of eight games without a win began.
The Magpies sit eighth in the Premier League table and have looked a stylish outfit at times this season, but have lost four of their last five matches.
If City can prove their determined performance against Hull was not a false dawn and get a win against the Magpies, then Saturday’s trip to struggling Cardiff City will suddenly look very winnable.
The road to Premier League safety would look much clearer and the yellow glow the future held in pre-season could once again return.
Win and few City fans will care who has scored the goal, they will just be grateful, as Ryan Bennett found with his late header to finish off Hull.
But a goal for van Wolfswinkel would really stoke the Carrow Road flames. That goal would be celebrated like a birthday present for all Canaries supporters.
Would you start van Wolfwinkel alongside Hooper though? Or would another option such as Wes Hoolahan just behind one of the strikers be a better option? Cast your vote in the poll above.