Make your predictions: How many points will Norwich City get from their remaining Premier League fixtures?
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As the Premier League pressure builds David Freezer assesses Norwich City's final 13 games
The home comforts of Carrow Road look set to play a crucial role in Norwich City's battle to avoid slipping through the Premier League trapdoor.
City supporters may be feeling rather low about their team's prospects and frustrated at the way a promising campaign has taken a nosedive, but all is not lost.
Seven of City's 13 remaining Premier League matches will be in Norfolk, giving the Canaries faithful the opportunity to throw their full support behind their team.
With the January transfer window closed and no further loan options, manager Alex Neil must go with what he's got and rediscover the formula which led to three wins from four games during the festive period.
The Scot will be well aware that his team has under-performed recently and will realise that the pressure is now firmly on, regardless of his brilliant success last season.
However, Neil can also expect the full backing of City's board of directors.
- 1 Overnight works on stretch of A47 prompt 50-mile diversion for two weeks
- 2 Norfolk beach named among UK's most contaminated
- 3 'Do not eat' - Lidl recalls product over bacteria fears
- 4 New reservoir could secure region's water supply - but will cost over £1bn
- 5 Friend pays tribute to 'kind-hearted' 20-year-old who died in bike crash
- 6 Revealed: Buyer of Norwich Airport Industrial Estate - and what they paid
- 7 Where you will be able to see the Red Arrows over Norfolk this weekend
- 8 Part of Norfolk Coast Path to close for seven weeks
- 9 'Foodie Fortnight' to celebrate opening of new food hall in Norwich
- 10 'Genuine shock' after biker killed in town centre hit-and-run
Having sanctioned over £23million in spending during the transfer window, including purchasing the likes of James Maddison from Coventry and Ben Godfrey from York with an eye on the future, deciding to change manager now would come as a major surprise.
Where will the wins the Canaries now so desperately need come from though?
Three of the current top six all head to Norfolk in the coming months, starting with West Ham on Saturday and followed by title chasers Manchester City next month and Manchester United in May.
Four points from those three matches would be an excellent return, given City's current form, but there are some daunting away trips to also make.
Any points from trips to title challengers Leicester City and Arsenal would be a huge bonus but little can be expected against teams who have collected more than double the points the Canaries have managed at this stage.
Winning one of the games at Swansea, West Brom or Palace – whose home form has held up their progress – should be achievable as well and Everton could well have little to play for at Goodison Park on the final day.
Those travails are likely to matter little if City do not do the business at home though, in games they are perfectly capable of winning.
Before the recent losses to Tottenham and Liverpool – two teams operating in different financial stratospheres to the Canaries – home form had improved hugely for City.
They were unbeaten in their last five home league games, beating Southampton, Villa and Swansea, as well as drawing with Everton and Arsenal.
Earlier defeats to West Brom, Leicester and Crystal Palace mean that the taste of defeat has had to be endured on five occasions in NR1 already though, from 12 matches.
The current horror streak of five defeats on the bounce has left City little margin for error in their home games now, with the need to start racking up points becoming ever more urgent.
Working out exactly how many points Neil's team need to collect to secure safety is not an exact science but the average needed to survive in the top flight in the past 10 years is 36 points.
Last season Hull finished 18th with 35 points to go down and in 2014 it was the Canaries who occupied the final relegation spot, going down with 33 points.
In 2011 however Birmingham went down despite picking up 39 points – leaving general wisdom to settle on the 40-point mark as the aim for teams trying to secure their survival.
Amassing 17 points from a possible 39 will be no small feat for City but here are five games they can win, if they perform as well as we know they can...
West Ham (h)
Slaven Bilic has enjoyed a great first season in charge of the Hammers – with their away form particularly impressive.
Five wins and four draws from 13 away games has helped push them as high as sixth place and a push for European qualification.
However, Bilic's team have lost their last two away games, at Southampton and Newcastle and their form has dipped recently, so this Saturday could just be a good time for the Canaries to face them.
Despite that impressive season, City should have won at Upton Park back in September, when a late John Ruddy error allowed Cheikou Kouyate to make the score 2-2 in injury-time.
West Brom (a)
The Baggies face trips to Everton, Leicester and Arsenal before the Canaries visit The Hawthorns, so are likely to be targeting the game as a must-win.
Tony Pulis' team have not won any of their last five league games and have been taken to FA Cup replays by lower-level sides Bristol City and Peterborough United.
Currently they sit six points clear of City but are looking to be one of the most likely teams to be dragged into the relegation scrap.
Norwich won 2-0 on their last visit to West Bromwich, thanks to goals from Gary Hooper and Leroy Fer, and will want to avenge a frustrating 1-0 home loss to the Baggies in October.
Currently City's biggest rivals in the relegation scrap after leapfrogging Alex Neil's team into 17th place with a 1-0 home win over West Brom on Saturday.
Newcastle spent more than any other top-flight team during the transfer window, including paying £12million apiece for Jonjo Shelvey and Andros Townsend, of almost £30m.
They now have the ability to push on but have consistently disappointed in Steve McClaren's first season in charge.
City looked capable of causing the Magpies problems at St James' Park in October and were trailing 3-2 in the first half, before a defensive implosion saw them fall to an embarrassing 6-2 loss.
Of all the games remaining in City's season, the visit of the Black Cats looks to be the biggest must-win game of them all.
Currently three points adrift of the Canaries in the table and stuck in the relegation zone for all but one week of the season so far – Sunderland have looked off the top-flight pace for much of the campaign.
City eased to a 3-1 win at the Stadium of Light in August but are likely to meet a stronger team this time, with the experienced Sam Allardyce having made steady progress since he replaced Dick Advocaat in October.
Beating the perennial strugglers at Carrow Road is an absolute must.
Another match that the Canaries will be fired up for, following a no-show at Vicarage Road in December. That 2-0 loss hasn't looked quite so bad with the Hornets' subsequent impressive form but four defeats in the past six games for Quique Sanchez Flores' side suggest a top-half finish could be beyond them.
With the visitors likely to be safe by then, the match could be well timed.