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Survival or bust for Norwich City

PUBLISHED: 15:02 17 February 2014 | UPDATED: 17:26 17 February 2014

Johan Elmander (left) and Gary Hooper (right) can not believe it as Cardiff take the lead.

Johan Elmander (left) and Gary Hooper (right) can not believe it as Cardiff take the lead.

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What’s more straightforward than predicting the future? MICHAEL BAILEY tees up our panel of fans, columnists and correspondents to tell us how Norwich City’s season will end.

It’s a fraught process, but someone’s got to do it – predicting how the Premier League season will finish for the Canaries. And that is fitting, as at the moment the final third of the top-flight season looks all set to be just as fraught.

First to take in are the 12 games left for City to play. The final four have been a topic of chatter among Norwich fans since the fixture list was first unveiled in June. All that appears to mean from here on in is Chris Hughton’s men have got to get going and quickly once their FA Cup-enforced break is over.

The second part is the issue of how many points it will take to secure anything from 17th or higher – and history can help us to a degree with this one.

Since the Premier League was nipped down to 20 teams, the average points for 18th – and relegation – is 36 points. Of course, some have stayed up with 34, others have gone down topping 40. We’re two-thirds through this term and 17th/ 18th share 24 points. That makes you think we’re on for a bang average 36-point relegation cut-off.

No doubt a few teams will hope it’s fewer – let’s see what our first two pundits predict.

What the pundits predict:

• Paddy Davitt – chief Norwich City writer

(Norwich City’s score first)

Feb 23 Spurs (H) D 1-1

Mar 2 Aston Villa (A) W 2-1

Mar 8 Stoke (H) W 2-0

Mar 15 Southampton (A) L 0-2

Mar 22 Sunderland (H) D 1-1

Mar 29 Swansea (A) L 1-2

Apr 5 West Brom (H) W 3-1

Apr 12 Fulham (A) L 0-2

Apr 19 Liverpool (H) L 1-4

Apr 26 Man Utd (A) L 1-3

May 3 Chelsea (A) L 0-3

May 11 Arsenal (H) D 1-1

Points picked up: 12

City’s final tally: 37 – SAFE

Will City survive, how and why? Paddy says: Norwich never do things the easy way, which is why you can see a scenario where they need something from the final game. For that to happen Arsenal’s title challenge will have to be over. Plenty of imponderables I know, but when was the survival scrap ever predictable?

• David Powles – City fan and columnist

(Norwich City’s score first)

Feb 23 Spurs (H) D 1-1

Mar 2 Aston Villa (A) L 1-2

Mar 8 Stoke (H) W 2-0

Mar 15 Southampton (A) D 2-2

Mar 22 Sunderland (H) W 3-0

Mar 29 Swansea (A) W 1-0

Apr 5 West Brom (H) D 0-0

Apr 12 Fulham (A) L 0-2

Apr 19 Liverpool (H) L 1-2

Apr 26 Man Utd (A) L 0-2

May 3 Chelsea (A) L 0-3

May 11 Arsenal (H) D 2-2

Points picked up: 13

City’s final tally: 38 – SAFE

Will City survive, how and why? David says: It will be close but I’ve always felt Norwich will be safe – and still do. Much of that is because of the teams around us; Fulham, Cardiff and West Brom are my tips for the drop. A five-game unbeaten run in March will see us home (I hope).

Tomorrow: Michael Bailey and Chris Lakey give their verdicts.

What do you think? Leave your predictions using the comment section below.

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