Predictions: Where Norwich City will find the points they need to secure Premier League survival
13:02 03 February 2014
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Predicting how many points Norwich City need to secure Premier League survival this season is akin to guessing how many beans are in a bag of coffee at the moment.
The English top flight has been as unpredictable as ever from the very start of the season, right from the opening day when Aston Villa won 3-1 at Arsenal and the following week when newly-promoted Cardiff beat Manchester City 3-2.
The big teams eventually found their feet and left the rest for dust, leaving fans across the country frustrated as teams in the bottom half constantly trip over one another.
Just six points separate Stoke in 11th place, on 25 points, and bottom-of-the-table Fulham, on 19.
So where does that set the magic number needed to secure survival this season?
The last two seasons 37 points have been sufficient to guarantee safety and in five of the last 10 Premier League seasons, 35 points would have been enough.
The Canaries currently have 24 points and I believe they are capable of finding the 11 points needed and in my predictions, see below, I’m confident they can find 12 for some added breathing space.
That is far too close for comfort for City supporters though – and far closer than this Canaries squad should be to the relegation scrap.
It is a rather sorry looking set of results I have come up with though, with eight losses in the remaining 14 games for Chris Hughton’s side.
Wins at home against Stoke, Sunderland and West Brom will be key, as the final five matches are the stuff of nightmares for City fans.
If the season were to pan out as I have predicted, and City scrape to safety, then I’m sure Hughton would not be the manager come the start of next season.
It all looks to be heading towards another Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Sky Sports Survival Sunday Special again, just as when City went down in May 2005, following that miserable 6-0 loss at Fulham.
But you can look at that in two ways.
Should Hughton somehow start getting more from his squad in the season’s closing months then survival should be something he can comfortably achieve, with 15 points to take them to 39 points surely enough to avoid that last-day scrap.
One thing looks certain though, the club’s board seem to have decided that Hughton is the man to lead that fight, his job looks safe until the summer.
So those home games, when the support of the Carrow Road faithful can act as the clichéd ‘12th man’ and roar the players forward, are going to be crucial.
No one expected City to beat both Arsenal and Manchester United 1-0 at home last season, and in this crazy Premier League season, who can say for certain that Manchester City, Tottenham or Liverpool can’t be beaten as well?
This season, nothing is certain.
Sat Feb 8, Manchester City (H) – Lose (0 points)
Tues Feb 11, West Ham (A) – Draw (1)
Sun Feb 23, Tottenham Hotspur (H) – Draw (1)
Sun Mar 2, Aston Villa (A) – Lose (0)
Sat Mar 8, Stoke City (H) – Win (3)
Sat Mar 15, Southampton (A) – Lose (0)
Sat Mar 22, Sunderland (H) – Win (3)
Sat Mar 29, Swansea City (A) – Draw (1)
Sat Apr 5, West Brom (H) – Win (3)
Sat Apr 12, Fulham (A) – Lose (0)
Sat Apr 19, Liverpool (H) – Lose (0)
Sat Apr 26, Manchester United (A) – Lose (0)
Sat May 3, Chelsea (A) – Lose (0)
Sun May 11, Arsenal (H) – Lose (0)
Total points – 12
Do you agree that 35 points will be enough to survive? Share your predictions for the rest of the season by leaving a comment below.