Norwich City: Best- and Worst-Case Scenarios for the Rest of the Season
Up until this point, Norwich City can be generally satisfied with their work so far this season and will now be desperate to put to bed any lingering relegation fears before putting their feet up for the summer.
Currently occupying 12th position with 34 points, the Canaries are only six points away from that magic 40-point mark but will be wary that there is still time for them to endure a nervous end to the campaign.
There are still eight huge games to go, and followers of Premier League football will know only too well that absolutely anything can happen in that period of time.
It really is the business end of the season, and Norwich City are no different to the other 19 teams in the league in that they still have so much to play for.
Here are the best- and worst-case scenarios that Canaries fans can expect before the season is out.
Best-Case Scenario: Get to Safety as Soon as Possible
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As long as Norwich City can still mathematically go down, it's both foolish and dangerous to assume that they are pretty much safe.
With all of the teams below the Canaries more than capable of stringing a few results together, it could yet be a nervy end to the season for Chris Hughton's men, and the club must continue to pick up points on a regular basis to get over that finishing line.
The job is almost complete, but Norwich need to be professional in their approach to the last few games and make sure that it's another successful season at Carrow Road.
Defender Russell Martin suggested to BBC Sport that two more wins should be enough to ensure safety, and that is a realistic target to aim for.
However, although you certainly wouldn't swap Norwich City's current league position with any of the teams below them, with 24 points still to play for, it's not outside the realms of possibility that they could yet still be caught.
Best-Case Scenario: Try and Secure an Impressive League Position
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The run-in could prove crucial in determining Chris Hughton's summer transfer plans, and City must try and ensure that they finish strong.
If, and hopefully when, Premier League survival is mathematically assured, then Norwich will have a fantastic opportunity to make themselves a really attractive proposition for potential new recruits in the summer.
The higher the club finishes in the league, then inevitably the more alluring they will be to players around Europe—especially after Norwich finished 12th last season as well and didn't look in any danger of going down.
The best players don't want a relegation scrap on their CV, and if they can see that the Canaries have ambitions far greater than merely staying up every year, they will be far more open to a move to Carrow Road.
Besides that, there's a huge amount of money to play for as a reward for finishing as high as possible up the Premier League ladder, and that extra cash could well be the difference between whether or not the club can sign another player of Ricky van Wolfswinkel's calibre.
Worst-Case Scenario: Be Left Short of Options Up Front at a Critical Time
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You would like to think that such a debate will prove to be academic come May, but there is a chance that Norwich could be left with only two strikers for the closing games of the season.
Due to MLS rules, Kei Kamara will definitely have to leave the Canaries on May 6th due to the terms of his loan agreement.
Of course, that wouldn't be a disaster if Chris Hughton's side have assured safety at that point, but it would leave the manager short of options at a critical stage of the season if all doesn't go to plan.
What's more, according to The Argus, it's looking increasingly likely that Simeon Jackson will be heading south for the rest of the campaign to link up with Brighton & Hove Albion.
This means that Norwich could face the very real prospect of having only Grant Holt and Luciano Becchio available for the potentially massive games against West Bromwich Albion and Manchester City, which is far from ideal.
Worst-Case Scenario: Lose Premier League Status
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It's hard to put into words just how big a setback it would be for Norwich City to be relegated from the Premier League, and all concerned at Carrow Road will be desperate to avoid it at all costs.
With the signing of Ricky van Wolfswinkel, the club have made it abundantly clear that they have ambitions to become a force in the top flight for years to come, and they have a fantastic chance of doing so if they can stay up again this year.
Next season presents Norwich City with a massive chance to assemble the best squad that they have had in many years, and the goal will be to put together a team capable of challenging for Europa League football in the future.
However, those ambitions will all disappear into thin air if the Canaries are unable to steer clear of the drop.
The game against Wigan Athletic on Saturday will be pivotal in determining just how much Norwich fans need to worry about relegation, with a win for the home side meaning that they will only be four points away from the Norfolk outfit.
However, Chris Hughton's men showed their desire to stay in the division in the fantastic 1-1 draw away at Sunderland, and a repeat of that willingness to fight from now to the end of the campaign should hopefully be enough to ensure that it is once again a job very well done.
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