Norwich City v Wigan
Many would have had this down as a relegation six pointer when the fixtures were announced in the summer but Norwich are comfortable in mid-table and will be looking to heap more misery on struggling Wigan at Carrow Road on Sunday.
Paul Lambert deserves all the accolades for what both he and his players have achieved, not only this year, but throughout the last two and a half years. Successive promotions from League One and the Championship would have surpassed even the most optimistic of Norwich supporters. However they have taken a further step forward this year and look to be safe from relegation already, despite there being just under a third of the season left to play. Currently sitting just outside the top half of the table, the Canaries are five points off the 40 point total which has been the historic marker for clubs wishing to avoid relegation – it probably won’t be near that this season. Their home form is consistent and they go at teams no matter if they are playing home or away. That is evidenced with their last seven games which has seen them win three and lose four – so there is very little middle ground.
Wigan have it all to do between now and the end of the season if they are to stave off relegation this time around. They are no strangers to taking things to the very last day and it looks as though they would be heading for a similar scenario again, however in order to do that they need to starting winning games. Sitting at the foot of the table after 27 games is probably not enough for panicking as it’s so tight at the bottom between five clubs but the fact their form is terrible suggests that all is not well. One win from their last 13 games is deplorable and they have barely threatened in recent weeks. Without a goal from their last two matches, both at home, only heightens the fears of the supporters. Last weekend’s 2-0 loss at home to Swansea would have angered many involved at the club as it was just far too easy for the Welsh side. Dave Whelan summoned manager Roberto Martinez to his office at the beginning of the week in an attempt to rectify the problems they currently face so it will be interesting to see how that meeting affects the team’s performance and morale.
Norwich have only won one of their last five home games in the Premier League but they have played some of the better sides in the division. Man United needed a last minute goal to get the better of them whilst Tottenham were in blistering form at the time of their 2-0 success back in December. It is interesting that their last success at home came against Bolton – another side who are in amongst the relegation zone.
Martinez is one of the coolest customers in the Premier League and will still believe that his side is capable of getting out of trouble once again. Their escape on the final day of last season means that they have the experience of that but they really need to start putting in performances, and quickly.
Norwich may not be in the greatest form either, but they are still very competitive in their games and rarely fail to trouble their opponents. Wigan on the other hand have been poor for much of the season and having watched their demise last weekend, I think they’ll struggle again tomorrow.
My Selection: Norwich to beat Wigan
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