No respite for Norwich as Spurs target Premier League top four spot
What a desperate position for Chris Hughton to be in. If Norwich drop into the bottom three of the Premier League, he will be sacked. That’s what chief executive David McNally has told him, by all accounts.
Currently lying just one place above the relegation zone, it’s something that seems bound to happen at some stage before the end of the season, although not this Sunday, even if they lose to Spurs, after other results went their way this weekend.
It’s difficult to be positive about Hughton’s or Norwich’s fate. One win from their last 11 Premier League games hardly inspires confidence and even if they suddenly go on a bit of a run, the light at the end of the tunnel will be the headlights of an oncoming train; their final four fixtures are against Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal – what a way to finish!
Coral rate Cardiff 1/3 favourites to go down with Fulham close behind at 2/5. Then it’s a close run thing for the third relegation spot between Norwich (13/8), Crystal Palace (7/4) and Sunderland (15/8).
Every game from now on in is critical for Norwich, starting with Hughton’s old club Spurs, who, in contrast, are enjoying a superb run, at least in the Premier League.
Since Tim Sherwood took over from Andre Villas-Boas, Tottenham have lost one, drawn two and won seven, most recently an impressive 4-0 trouncing of Newcastle at St James’ Park.
The Premier League title is surely beyond them, but a top four spot is now a distinct possibility – Coral go 9/4 they are back in the Champions League next season.
Emmanuel Adebayor (4/5 to score against Norwich, 100/30 first or last) has been a revelation up front, which is just as well because Roberto Soldado has hardly looked like a £26 million striker since signing from Valencia.
Indeed, Spurs fans were maybe wondering whether he was actually worth two and sixpence when he missed an open goal from five yards in the Europa League tie against Dnipro on Thursday.
But we should remember that Soldado scored more than 100 goals in Spain – some of them spectacular – at around one every other game and may yet have a major contribution to make to Spurs’ final push.
Norwich, with just 19 goals from their 26 games (including four in their last ten), would certainly be happy to have the Spanish striker. If they and Hughton are going to survive, they will need to convert more of the chances they are creating – and soon.
The Canaries showed their fighting spirit when holding Manchester City to a draw earlier this month, but in general Spurs are in much better form and look a solid bet at 11/10. Coral’s 18/1 a 1-3 scoreline also catches the eye.