If you looked at the league table back at the end of 2015 then you wouldn’t have marked Today’s game as a relegation 6 pointer but due to Crystal Palace’s hideous slump in form since the turn of the year then this is exactly the situation we find ourselves in.
Alan Pardew’s side are still looking for a first league win since victory at Stoke on December 19th. That run without a win has seen them fall all the way down to 16th place and a win today for their opponents Norwich would see them level on the points and Palace pulled right into the relegation fight for the remaining 5 games of the season.
Last time out they managed to come away with a point at Upton Park after they made their numerical advantage on the pitch count due to Cheikhou Kouyaté’s sending off. Dwight Gayle getting the equaliser but Manager Pardew will no doubt be ruing the fact they couldn’t go on and find a winner.
The longer this run goes on then the louder the shouts of “Pardew Out” become, could defeat here be one game too many. In fairness it’s only their F.A. Cup run which is keeping him in the job right now as if it wasn’t for that I think he may have been given his P45.
One man who has been backed all season is Alex Neil, after a terrible run of their own without a win they are now finding their form at just the right time. Back to back wins and 7 points from a possible 9 has seen them up open a 4 point gap from the drop zone.
If they could get another win then it would be a massive boost for the East Anglia side and the momentum would certainly be with them for the final 5 games. Not only that but to pull Palace into the battle would take the pressure of themselves and heap it onto the South London side.
At this time of the season it’s all about momentum, Norwich have it and Palace wish they did. Last weekend Norwich snatched a vital win against fellow strugglers Newcastle. Another 6 pointer and a huge boost for The Canaries.
After going ahead twice they hauled level thanks to goals from Alexsandar Mitrovic but there was still time for Martin Olsson to fire home a dramatic late winner. Delight for Norwich but heartbreak for Newcastle.
Today is going to be a nervy encounter but Norwich will go into the game full of confidence. Palace need a result of their own but I don’t think the run is going to end here. I think it’s a game neither team will want to lose and it will end up exactly that. A draw for me.