Norwich City set to miss out to Ipswich Town in Championship promotion race - according to ‘Football Manager’ simulation

Lewis Grabban scored Norwich's winner in a 1-0 Championship victory at Ipswich earlier this season.

Lewis Grabban scored Norwich's winner in a 1-0 Championship victory at Ipswich earlier this season. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City are set for a Championship play-off spot after finishing in third place as Ipswich snatch the final automatic berth behind champions Bournemouth, in a simulation run by the makers of the 'Football Manager' computer game.

The Canaries, who triumphed 1-0 at Portman Road earlier this season with Lewis Grabban on the mark to maintain Norwich's recent dominance over their East Anglian rivals, are forecast to finish on 75 points, eight behind Mick McCarthy's squad with Bournemouth claiming the title on 85 points.

Alex Neil's men would face a potential play-off semi-final against Derby County with the winners set for Wembley to play either Middlesbrough or Watford.

The Canaries are currently in seventh place on 43 points, eight behind leaders Bournemouth, ahead of Saturday's Carrow Road tussle against fifth-placed Brentford but according to the 'Football Manager' experts City are destined for a tense finale to the season after crunching the numbers.

A Football Manager spokesperson said: 'To ensure the simulations were as accurate as possible, the team fully updated the Premier League and Championship seasons to reflect the events of the season so far in the real world.

'To begin with, this meant adding in the full set of results up to and including New Year's Day, as well as the fully accurate set of remaining fixtures. The real-life injuries and suspensions for each of the 44 teams were then added to the simulation so that the virtual Wengers and Mourinhos would have the same squad selection dilemmas as their real-world counterparts.

'Next, all teams were updated with the loan and transfer deals up to and including January 16, as were those potential transfers which have been heavily speculated about in national and regional media.

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'Finally, adjustments were made to individual player and team reputations, morale and abilities to reflect how they have performed in real life thus far this season – so players like Harry Kane, for example, received a slight boost in their ability stats whereas Wigan, who have been performing below expectations so far, were given slightly lower ratings for morale and reputation.

'To ensure that the final league table was as accurate as could be, each set of fixtures was played through three times, with the most representative result taken for each game.'

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