Norwich’s recent upturn in form and the subsequent inflation of their relegation price makes now a great time to back them falling through the Premier League trap door this season.
A sluggish start to the campaign which involved them handing out goals to all comers put them right at the forefront of the relegation candidates, the Canaries now find themselves 11/8 shots to go down.
This recent purple patch, however, has only served to paper over some fundamental cracks in their team of Championship players plying their trade one level beyond their means.
Wins over Arsenal and Stoke, supported with a less-than-warranted 1-1 draw at Aston Villa and a Capital One Cup victory over Tottenham is an impressive string of results, it has to be said. But the flaws that prompted many to label them relegation certainties before the season began still exist, so why should a couple of good performances change anything regarding their long-term future?
The defence that shipped five goals at home to Liverpool at the end of September wasn’t much changed from the one that beat Stoke last time out. The inclusion of Sebastien Bassong to replace Leon Barnett will have made a significant difference as the Cameroonian is a solid performer and arguably the most adept in their ranks.
Bringing Steven Whittaker in at right back is not the sort of addition that will turn a rubbish defence into one capable of flourishing in the top flight and should Bassong fall foul of injury or suspension they lack the depth in their squad to cope without him.
Their torrid run of fixtures continues for a few weeks yet, with games against Man United and Everton to follow a crunch clash at Reading, while their Christmas schedule is incredibly tough and could easily see them hauled back into the mire.
Chris Hughton has proved time and again that he’s a more than capable pilot in the top flight, which could prove their saving grace, yet if they can’t open up a sizeable gap between themselves and the relegation zone before their gruelling yuletide period commences, it’s easy to envisage their price for the drop plummeting.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date