Norwich City's 5 Biggest Remaining Fixtures This Season
Norwich City may not be enjoying the best run of form currently, but thankfully they still hold a precious seven point cushion over the bottom three as they try to stay clear of danger.
With 13 games to go, the Canaries have given themselves a real chance of achieving their ultimate survival goal, but now the club must make sure that they get over the finishing line as soon as possible to avoid an untimely relegation scrap.
The simple mathematics dictate that four wins should be enough to see them safe for another season, with Chris Hughton's men currently in mid-table on 28 points.
Realistically, they couldn't have asked for a better run-in with three of the bottom five in the Premier at the time of writing still to visit Carrow Road.
Home has definitely been where the heart is for Norwich this season, with City having picked up five of their six wins overall on home soil and if they can continue that trend then Norfolk should be hosting Premier League football again next season.
However, anyone who knows football will know that it's never quite as easy as that, and Norwich could yet face a sticky end to the campaign.
Here are the five biggest games that await the Canaries in the coming months...
All fixtures, results and tables taken from BBC.co.uk
February 9: Fulham (H)
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To say that Norwich owe Fulham one is a classic understatement.
The West London outfit seem to specialise in "Canary Bashing," and dished out their latest hammering on the opening day of the season by cruising to a 5-0 win at Craven Cottage.
Such an abject performance must have made Chris Hughton start to question what he had let himself in for, but his side have regrouped in the fixtures that have followed to propel themselves into a relatively comfortable position in the league at this stage.
Anyone who watched the Canaries humiliation at the Cottage on that fateful day would find it hard to believe that the two teams would be level on points just a few months down the line, but, that is the reality and now Norwich will be hoping to gain revenge in the sweetest possible manner.
A win against notoriously poor travelers Fulham would move Hughton's men on to 31 points; a cushion that would allow everyone to breathe a whole lot easier at Carrow Road as well as going some way to banishing the demons of August.
The Canaries may not have won for eight games, but this fixture will give them a chance to right a lot of wrongs and attempt to re-live that winning feeling. And who better to do that against than Fulham!
March 9: Southampton (H)
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Despite leading the club to back-to-back promotions and starting to move the Saints away from the Premier League trap-door, all of the above wasn't deemed as good enough to save Nigel Adkins from the sack as the curse of the reckless football club owner struck once more.
Now, Mauricio Pochettino has taken the reigns and has got his side playing some attractive attacking football, but the new boss still has some serious work to do with the South club outfit only three points clear of relegation.
There's little doubt that this is a game that Norwich City will have targeted to win, especially on home soil, and a victory would go a long way to dampening relegation fears of their own.
March 30: Wigan Athletic (A)
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Wigan Athletic have achieved "the great escape" more times than any other team in recent years, and it looks like they will have to do it once again with the Latics currently trapped in the bottom three.
In truth, it seemed like Roberto Martínez' men were dead and buried this time last year, but a remarkable run of form at the end of the campaign pulled them to safety, and you can guarantee that they will fight for their lives once again this time out.
Whether their luck will finally run out this year remains to be seen, but the Canaries could have a massive say in the relegation battle when they travel to the DW Stadium at the end of March.
Norwich will be desperate to improve an away record which has seen them only pick up a solitiary victory on the road this season, and on paper this fixture appears to be their best chance of doubling their tally.
However, it won't be easy because you can bet that Wigan will have also ear-marked this game as one that they must take all three points from so it all points to a tense afternoon in Lancashire.
April 20: Reading (H)
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Reading have hit wonderful form of late, and as a result have seen themselves move out of the relegation zone for the first time in a number of weeks.
At times this season the Royals have looked destined for The Championship, but like Norwich, their overriding trait is their terrific team spirit and with everyone pulling in the same direction; they may have a chance of securing Premier League football for another season.
Despite Reading's vast improvement, Norwich will still know that this is a game that they are more than capable of winning and three points here could all but secure safety.
Furthermore, with Brian McDermott and Adam Le Fondre the newly crowned Barclays Premier League manager and player of the month respectively, the infamous "manager of the month" curse could strike once again and bring the Royals back down to earth with a bang before they travel to Carrow Road!
May 4: Aston Villa (H)
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It's fair to say that things haven't quite worked out as planned for Paul Lambert since he left Norwich City to take over Aston Villa in the summer.
Desperately struggling in the Premier League, knocked out of the League Cup at the semifinal stage by League Two opposition and already out of the FA Cup, in fact, it couldn't have gone a lot worse for the Scot!
When Villa travel to Norfolk in early May, the Carrow Road faithful are bound to be desperate for the three points to prove that their former manager made the wrong decision in seeking pastures new.
It's a game that is bound to have huge significance both on and off the pitch, and the Canaries will be hopeful of coming out on top.
Lambert may have took the spoils in the Villans recent 4-1 triumph over Norwich in the Capital One Cup, but his former side could ultimately have the last laugh by helping to consign Villa to The Championsip with victory in this one.
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