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Hapless defending leaves Norwich’s survival hopes bleak

| 03.10.2012

Norwich’s 5-2 trouncing at the hands of a Liverpool side whose poor form has never been far from the forefront of discussion should have alarm bells ringing at Carrow Road.

The Canaries are now 4/5 to be relegated, ahead of only Southampton and Reading in the betting, having mustered just three points from their opening six games, whilst remaining winless.

Last season, under the guidance of Paul Lambert, Norwich had already chalked up eight points at this stage on their way to securing a 12th-place finish. Reproducing a similar feat looks beyond them given their awful start and their upcoming fixtures suggest the situation isn’t going to get any better.

With games against Chelsea and Arsenal on the horizon, followed by a reunion with old boss, Lambert at Villa Park, Chris Hughton’s search for a first league win at the helm looks likely to stretch further still.

Worryingly for the former Birmingham and Newcastle chief, the Liverpool defeat represented the second time in his short tenure that his charges have shipped five goals. Such hideous defensive displays will ensure they get nothing against top attacking teams, a bracket which Chelsea and Arsenal fall into.

And, although Villa away isn’t a fixture they should be writing off, it’s one where the hosts will be looking to put three points on the board and they have shown some decent form in recent weeks.

Three defeats will see Norwich head into November with a sizeable task on their hands if they wish to stay up and, with their relegation rivals preparing to embark on runs of winnable matches, the Canaries could soon find themselves adrift at the bottom.

Recent Premier League trends bring more bad news for Norwich fans with eight of the past nine relegated teams all having more points on the board than the Norfolk club at this stage of the season.

It’s fair to say they have been unlucky in some games, namely against Spurs and QPR, but this isn’t taken into account in May and it’s looking more and more likely they are to fall foul of the dreaded second-season syndrome.

Failure to get wins quickly, and they look like they’ll be hard to come by, will see their price for relegation shorten massively so it’s well worth lumping on now to reap the rewards at the close of the campaign.

All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date

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Author

James Middleton