Alan Curtis believes Swansea City are capable of taking another big step towards Premier League survival against Norwich City if they can match the display produced in Wednesday’s shock victory over Arsenal.
Ashley Williams’ 74th-minute goal secured a vital 2-1 win at Emirates Stadium, moving the Welsh side six points clear of the bottom three.
Norwich occupy the final position in the relegation zone so victory on Saturday could see Swansea pull further away from trouble as the season reaches its climax.
The Liberty Stadium has not been the fortress it once was, though, with the Swans only claiming two wins from their last 12 top-flight matches there.
Curtis – who is expected to take charge again in the absence of the ill Francesco Guidolin – is confident they can improve that on record in light of their midweek heroics at title-challenging Arsenal.
“We set a standard [against Arsenal] and we need to keep it going,” said the coach. “It was a reminder that we’re still a good footballing team.
“We passed the ball well in the second half and played good football.
“We have three massive fixtures against Norwich, Bournemouth and Aston Villa, which will probably define our season. We must build on this.”
While the mood in the Swans camp is buoyant, the same cannot be said of Norwich as they come into Saturday’s clash without a win in eight matches.
They have lost seven of those encounters and – along with Sunderland – have now conceded the most goals in the division, shipping 53.
Norwich’s run has left manager Alex Neil frustrated, but he remains convinced his side can turn their fortunes around in the final 10 matches and preserve their top-flight status.
“We’ve got opportunities to do it and we’re capable of doing it, that’s the frustrating part,” he told the club’s official website. “We just need to take more of the chances that we do create.
“We need to win a good handful of the remaining games to make sure that we’ve got a good chance of staying up.
“We’ve got Swansea which is a huge game and then Manchester City before a batch of five or six matches that will determine where we are.”
Neil will hope to have Alex Tettey available after he picked up a leg injury against Chelsea, while Timm Klose and Jonny Howson are nursing knocks from the same game.
Key Opta Stats:
– Norwich City have kept the joint fewest clean sheets in the Premier League this season (three, along with Sunderland).
– A league-low 25.7 per cent of Swansea’s passes have been in the final third of the pitch this season.
– Only bottom club Aston Villa have conceded the first goal of a Premier League game on as many occasions as Norwich City (20 matches) this season.
– After scoring in each of his first four Premier League appearances this season, Swansea striker Bafetimbi Gomis has netted just once in his last 21 games in the competition.
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