If ever there were two teams who appeared primed to suffer an acute case of second season syndrome, it was Swansea and Norwich.
Following hugely successful seasons last term, they both lost their managers to bigger clubs and both took risks on managers who either had little experience in the Premier League (Chris Hughton) or no experience (Michael Laudrup).
However, things are looking even better this term for Swansea, while another season of safety is starting to look almost a certainty for Norwich.
The Swans are on a six game unbeaten run in the Premier League – a spell that’s included a draw with Chelsea and wins over Newcastle, West Brom and Arsenal – while their visitors have gone eight games unbeaten and seen off Manchester United and the Gunners.
With that kind of form, Norwich look pretty tempting at the 10/3 currently quoted by Ladbrokes – especially when you consider Norwich seem to have Swansea’s number, winning twice against them in the league last season and scoring six goals in the process.
The Swans struggle against the bigger more physical sides and have been dispatched comfortably by Everton three times in the past two years and lost 2-0 to Stoke back in September.
The Welsh side are riding a wave of confidence at the moment though and the addition of the midfielder/striker Michu to the squad over the summer will give the Canaries something extra to think about.
He’s hit 10 in the league this term (including a brace against Arsenal last weekend) and is currently 4/1 to open the scoring, while the hosts are 5/6 to pick up all three points and solidify their position in the top half of the table.
However, with little to choose between them in the form guide and with both teams looking first and foremost to survive, backing a mutually acceptable draw at 5/2 looks to be the best way of cashing in on this clash.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date