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After Third-Straight Loss, Norwich City 19th, Odds-On Favorites for EPL Relegation

Gary Gowers

by Gary Gowers in Soccer News

Updated Mar 31, 2020 · 6:13 AM PDT

Norwich 1 Aston Villa 5 EPL
Norwich City's Ibrahim Amadou cuts a disconsolate figure as his injury-ravaged team go down 5-1 at home to Aston Villa, and now find themselves in the EPL relegation zone. Photo By @AVFCOfficial (Twitter) [CC License]
  • Norwich in midst of an injury-induced crisis
  • Three consecutive defeats for the Canaries
  • City now odds-on to be relegated

Saturday’s crushing 5-1 home defeat by Aston Villa has sent Norwich City’s relegation odds tumbling – just three weeks after they pulled off the upset of the season so far by beating Manchester City at their Carrow Road stadium.

As a result, Norwich’s odds to be relegated, which were +200 on September 16, have now come in to -120. We are looking to see if they are a good bet for relegation or if they have what it takes top save themselves.

English Premier League 2019/20 – Relegation Odds

Team Current League Position Odds
Norwich City 19th (6 points) -120
Watford 20th (3 points) +110
Newcastle United 16th (8 points) +125
Sheffield United 13th (9 points) +165
Aston Villa 15th (8 points) +200
Brighton 14th (9 points) +330
Southampton 17th (7 points) +350
Burnley 7th (12 points) +550
Bournemouth 10th (11 points) +700
Crystal Palace 6th (14 points) +800

*Odds taken on 10/09/19.

Nightmare Start for Farke’s Canaries

It’s been a really tricky start to life back in the EPL for City coach Daniel Farke, whose team have played six out of the current top eight, including games against Liverpool, Man City and Chelsea. On that basis alone it’s unsurprising they top the EPL relegation odds, but the club is also in the midst of one of its worst-ever injury crises.

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It’s a dilemma Farke has had to contend with for several weeks now but is also one that seems to be worsening week-on-week. It reached a peak on Saturday when the City coach was without nine key members of his first-team squad.

That Villa ran riot was, of course, a huge disappointment for City fans but given they currently have no fit centre-backs – Ben Godfrey played with an injury and was sent for surgery straight after the game – and no fit defensive midfielders, the mauling was something that has been coming for weeks.

Away-Day Misery

Successive 2-0 away defeats – at Burnley and Crystal Palace – were both sustained with makeshift lineups and while neither got particularly messy, the Villa game was one step two far for Farke’s men.

Summer loan signing from Sevilla, Ibrahim Amadou was recruited as a defensive midfielder but has so far had to play as an emergency centre-back, such has been the hand dealt to Farke. City fans have yet to see Amadou perform in his natural position and, after a sensational debut against Man City – which Norwich won 3-2 – costly mistakes have started to creep in.

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The international break has come at a good time for Norwich as they hope to get some of their walking-wounded healthy but the long-term injuries suffered by two of their first-string centre-backs, Christoph Zimmermann and Timm Klose, means neither will be available until 2020. Fortunately, other players, including goalkeeper Tim Krul, should be available when the Canaries head to Bournemouth on October 19.

Judge City With a Fully Fit Squad

So, while City’s current run suggests a team in free fall, there is more value in backing Norwich to stay up rather than get relegated because this is a team that looks almost certain to improve as Farke gets his players back from the physio room.

It’s also important to note that at this still-early stage of the season, Norwich are just six points – the equivalent of two wins – behind seventh-placed Burnley. Despite sportsbooks reacting to their three consecutive defeats, there are still 90-points to play for and so plenty of time to arrest their slide into the relegation zone.

Watford, who have yet to win a Premier League game this season, also have problems and have already had a change in manager, while Southampton, Brighton, Newcastle and Aston Villa have all suffered mixed starts to the season. It’s a battle that will likely go to the final few games of the campaign, and Norwich’s poor run needs to be considered in context.

My picks: Watford, Newcastle and Brighton to be relegated

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