After another poor run saw Norwich slip back to the danger zone, Chris Hughton’s charges have no choice but to go for a win against revived Tottenham Hotspur. Having gotten their top 4 bid back on track with back to back triumphs over Everton and Newcastle, Spurs will fancy their chances of winning at Carrow Road.
Having done really well to finish the previous campaign within two points of top 10 positions, Norwich were tipped for another successful season, especially with the club making quite a few quality signings in the summer. However, the Canaries started struggling from the very start and never managed to record even a couple of good results in a row. The latest run of results that saw them win just one of last eleven league fixtures has put boss Chris Hughton under intense pressure, with club officials all but confirming the manager would be sacked unless the results improve quickly. And with Norwich picking up two points from last four while scoring just one goal in the process, the hosts have no reason for optimism ahead of the clash with in-form Tottenham Hotspur. The Canaries do seem to have enough quality to avoid the drop, but when it comes to matches against league’s top sides, the difference in class is obvious. Chris Hughton also faces a genuine selection headache given that Ryan Bennett, Jonas Gutierrez, Michael Turner and Elliott Bennett are not yet ready to return. On top of that, midfielder Jonny Howson faces a fitness test as he battles a back injury.
Eyebrows were raised when Tottenham handed the job to inexperienced Tim Sherwood on permanent basis following the dismissal of Andre Villas-Boas, but, in hindsight, that seems to have been an excellent decision. The new boss was not afraid to utilise team’s attacking potential to the max, while handing Emmanuel Adebayor a new lease on life, with the Togolese going on to become a key player for Spurs. And while at one point it looked as though Tottenham would not be able to mount a serious top 4 challenge, impressive victories over Everton and Newcastle have changed everything, with fourth-placed Liverpool now mere three points away. Taking also into account that the infirmary is nearly empty after a number of important players returned into action, future definitely looks bright for Tim Sherwood and his men. Chances are that nobody at the club will be too concerned by the Europa League defeat to Dnipro that allowed the boss to rest some of his star players, with the likes of Lloris, Walker, Adebayor, Dembele and Lennon all set to be recalled. And with Spurs dropping just two points in last six away games in the Premiership, another triumph on the road appears on the cards.
Norwich are under pressure having again slipped into the danger zone and with strikers misfiring at the moment, they have little to hope for. Meanwhile, Tottenham appear on top of their game at the moment and one just needs to look at their impressive away record and they will know what to expect at Carrow Road.
Verdict: Away win
Best Odds: 23/20
Bookmaker: William Hill