Norwich City's Premier League survival chances hinge on Bournemouth's visit to Carrow Road
There may still be 16 games of the Premier League season remaining, but Norwich City have already arrived at the last chance saloon.
Last weekend’s disappointing 4-0 defeat at Manchester United has seen the gap to Watford in 17th stretch to eight points.
It was a day to forget at Old Trafford, with City rarely causing any problems – while looking all too vulnerable defensively against the pace of United’s attack.
But perhaps more pertinent for City is the six-point gap to second bottom Bournemouth – with Eddie Howe’s side the visitors to Carrow Road tomorrow.
I know many don’t subscribe to the Bournemouth fairy tale, given the money they’ve spent, but I’ve got a lot of respect for what Howe has achieved, and the manner in which he has done it.
That said, the form table doesn’t lie – and with only four points from their last 10 games, Bournemouth are a side in freefall.
And City – themselves with only seven points from the same period – need to capitalise on that if they are going to stay up.
In terms of team selection, Daniel Farke will be boosted by the return to fitness of Teemu Pukki. The amount of football he has played over the last 18 months for club and country is remarkable, so hopefully a short break – albeit through injury – will help him to feel revitalised.
Farke will also have new signings Lukas Rupp and Ondrej Duda to call upon.
While I won’t claim to know much about Rupp, Duda is an attacking midfielder who will hopefully provide an extra goal threat – having notched 11 times for Hertha Berlin in the Bundesliga last season.
Whether Duda’s arrival can spark City into life, only time will tell, but one thing is for certain, whoever Farke does select tomorrow will need the vociferous backing of those inside of Carrow Road – because it really is a case of do or die.
More by this authorLiam Apicella