Betting: Backing for Norwich City home win is still a bit tentative

Grant Holt is the 11/2 favourite to open the scoring.

Grant Holt is the 11/2 favourite to open the scoring. - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Tomorrow's duel between the Canaries and Newcastle at Carrow Road has had a tentative 'home win' label applied to it by bookies.

Though Norwich have suffered four consecutive Premier League defeats, three of those reverses were to sides occupying places in the top six at the time and all were by a one-goal margin.

By contrast, Newcastle's form on the road is best described as indifferent. They have failed to win any of their ten away matches to date. No wonder William Hill price them at 21/10 to secure three points.

Norwich won the corresponding fixture 4-2 last term, so continuing a recent trend. Since the pair were reunited in the top flight, all three of their meetings have ended in home victories. Few would be surprised if Norwich made it four from four. They're 11/10 with Skybet to do so, although shrewder punters are not anticipating a walkover.

It would be foolish to ignore Norwich's four consecutive defeats and it also seems reasonable to assume that neither side will be playing much gung-ho football. Instead, punters can expect both teams to be defensively tight, an approach which complements the appeal of Stan James's 5/2 odds posted about the draw and BetVictor's 9/2 for City to win following a drawn first half.

Elsewhere, Grant Holt is bet365's 11/2 favourite to open the scoring, while Stan James chalk 8/1 about a 1-0 home win.

However, given the general absence of defensive solidity, BetVictor's 4/6 for the match to yield more than 2.5 goals looks decent value, while the 21/10 Ladbrokes offer for Norwich to keep a clean sheet has proved popular, despite the fact that they've kept just five all season.

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In other markets, Paddy Power rate the chances of City securing maximum points without conceding to be an 11/4 shot and bet365 post 7/2 in favour of them enjoying a one-goal margin of victory.

Following Newcastle's impressive start to the campaign, they're now perilously close to the relegation zone, just two points above Wigan. If Norwich can score first (8/11, Stan James), the likelihood is they can capture maximum points.