Norwich City can be this season's 'surprise package' in the relegation battle

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Last week, Alex Neil, the Norwich City boss, said he believed his team could be this season's "surprise package" in the relegation battle. At the time, not many would have taken him too seriously but after an upturn in form, he could well be proven right.

Norwich have definitely backed up their manager's comments after a scoreless draw against Manchester City and a vital 1-0 win away from home at West Brom, has ensured the Canaries are outside the bottom three heading into the international break and ended a 12-match winless streak.

The north-east derby draw, meant Norwich City have now piled the pressure on both Sunderland and Newcastle to start picking up results quickly.


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Neil's side, still have both north-east clubs to welcome to Carrow Road this season, which will undoubtedly be highlighted as the biggest games in the battle for Premier League survival this season.

They currently sit 17th, two points clear of Sunderland and three of Newcastle but have played one extra game. The winner of these crunch fixtures could find themselves climbing to safety, whilst condemning the losing side to Championship football next season.

As we've seen in previous seasons, the team that pulls off the 'great escape', backs up crucial results with another key victory. If Norwich are to do the same, they will also need to ensure they are ready to go again after the international break.

Home form will be crucial, as is always the case at the bottom end of table, and all three teams in the mix have struggled in front of their home supporters. Away from home, Norwich had failed to keep a single clean sheet all season, before victory at the Hawthorns.

With the increased television money at steak, it will be disastrous for any club to be relegated this season. The Canaries' next three fixtures, all come against sides in the bottom half of the table, a great opportunity to spark the revival Alex Neil has spoken about.

If Norwich can continue to grind out vital results, and reignite the belief that has perhaps been missing, then the yellow army will have a fantastic of remaining a Premier League side.

This season's relegation battle promises to throw up even more surprises in what has been a remarkable season so far. So as football supporters, we're guaranteed an exciting and fascinating end to the campaign.

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Wes Hoolahan
Cameron Jerome
Norwich City
Premier League
Sebastien Bassong
John Ruddy

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