Norwich City tipped for a relegation battle

Norwich City boss Chris Hughton is in for a season of struggle, according to certain well-known pundits. Picture by Paul...

Norwich City boss Chris Hughton is in for a season of struggle, according to certain well-known pundits. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City's multi-million pound summer transfer outlay has failed to convince the likes of Skysports pundits Phil Thompson and Jamie Redknapp the Canaries are not in danger of being sucked into a relegation battle.

Both are tipping Chris Hughton's new-look squad for a season of struggle along with promoted trio Cardiff, Hull and Crystal Palace.

City have secured back-to-back Premier League mid-table finishes since promotion in 2011 and Hughton has overseen a major overhaul of the squad since May.

Club-record signing Ricky van Wolfswinkel and his Dutch international team-mate Leroy Fer have been the headline arrivals, with the pair joined by England Under-21 international Nathan Redmond and the likes of Celtic's prolific striker Gary Hooper and Swedish international full-back Martin Olsson.

Former Liverpool and England defender Thompson feels that influx of fresh talent could present potential problems for the Canaries.

'Norwich could be a concern because even they've made some okay signings and spent more money than last summer on some good players, if they don't gel they will be in trouble,' he said.

'Of course you always look at the teams who are coming up and I think Hull City and Crystal Palace will be down there. I quite fancy Cardiff to survive though because they've been nearly there for the last couple of seasons and I really like the signing of Steven Caulker.

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'It looks as though they have a bit more money to try and strengthen. My third team to go down would be Fulham. They've not been too active in the transfer market with just a few free signings and a new goalkeeper, but at the moment I'm not too convinced by them.'

Thompson's Skysports colleague Redknapp has gone a step further and predicts the Canaries are heading for the Championship.

'Three names? I'll be getting hate mail, but Hull, Palace and Norwich,' he said. 'I'm sure Crystal Palace wouldn't have liked Wifried Zaha to have had quite as good a pre-season as he's had because there might have been a chance to get him back on loan. They are going to be relying on team spirit and hope that Ian Holloway's enthusiasm can get them through.

'It's going to be hard for them and I don't like predicating teams to go down because it's a horrible thing. It's the same for Hull and Steve Bruce, who knows the league inside out. Then there's Norwich who are going to have a difficult season and Stoke, who just about survived last season and a lot depends on the type of football they play now.

'Playing a more progressive game is easier said than done and Tony Pulis did a good job there. That's one to look out for.'