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29 October 2014

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Newspaper pundits rate City's chances

With the Canaries facing a two-week break without a game, Norwich City fans are busy debating the Canaries' chance of survival in the Premiership. We ask the newspaper pundits to give us their views.

It's a tense time for fans of Norwich City Football Club. A two-week break without a game means many of the Carrow Road faithful are checking their fixture lists and bashing away at their calculators to find out where the points will come from for Premiership survival.

A football supporter is always going to hope for the best for his own team, so in the interest of balance, we thought we'd ask some of London's finest media types what they think of the Canaries survival chances.

"I don't think they'll survive. I wish they would though because they're the loveliest club in the country."
Jeremy Alexander of The Guardian

Christopher Davies of the Daily Telegraph, reckons it's going to be a nail-biter.

"I think Norwich City fans won't have any fingernails left by the end of the season. I think it's going to go right to the wire. The important thing is that Norwich must beat teams like Crystal Palace and Southampton, who're also in the dogfight," he said.

"Looking at the fixtures they've got, I'm not saying any game's going to be easy, but I think they've got the advantage of playing teams like Manchester City, Newcastle and Birmingham, all of whom are beatable on their travels," he added.

Neil McLemon of the Daily Mirror, believes Norwich won't survive the Premiership.

"On balance I think Norwich will go down this season. It's basically down to three teams fighting to avoid two relegation slots. I believe West Brom are down, so it's between Palace, Norwich and Southampton," he said.

"I think it's very hard to call between those sides, they all have their own strengths and weaknesses. What will save Norwich is if Dean Ashton goes on a scoring streak - that's what they've been missing all season. They've dominated games and created chances but haven't scored enough goals.

Dean Ashton
Dean Ashton

"If Ashton can get a goal a game they'll be safe, but I think with Ian Dowie in charge at Crystal Palace, and Harry Redknapp pulling the strings at Southampton, I think one of those two will survive and Norwich will go down," he added.

Not the most optimistic outlook, but Jeremy Alexander of The Guardian agrees.

"I don't think they'll survive. I wish they would though because they're the loveliest club in the country," he said.

"I think that now it'll be between Southampton and Palace to stay up. I think both West Brom and Norwich will go down. Norwich's defence, I feel, is a little too shaky now.

"Nigel Worthington is very sensibly now going for wins, not draws - and it's wins that'll make the difference," he added.

At BBC Radio Five Live, Pat Murphy said he remains optimistic, despite Norwich's poor Premiership performance.

"The odds are against Norwich to survive, but there are some green shoots of optimism there, " he said.

"They still have to play Crystal Palace and Southampton who're also down in the drop zone, and if they can get six point from those two games that really hampers the other teams.

"The Problem is that Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester united all have to play Norwich. Even a point from those three games would be a great achievement.

"Norwich keep battling on, the most heartening feature of their season so far, and they've bought a good striker in Dean Ashton," he added.

last updated: 18/02/05
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