It wasn’t too long ago that both of these clubs were probably making preparations for next season, with both experiencing relatively solid campaigns. However, while that has remained the case for West Brom, Norwich have been dragged into a relegation dogfight and just three points separate the Canaries from the bottom three with two games remaining.
Unfortunately for Chris Hughton and Norwich, there are no signs that the rot is going to stop any time soon. The club have won just one game since February and while that did occur just a couple of weeks ago against Reading, normal service has been resumed following successive defeats to Stoke and Aston Villa. These recent losses haven’t just damaged the Canaries’ points tally, but they have also resulted in both Villa and Stoke making big steps away from the bottom cluster of teams. However, while there is plenty of negativity circulating Carrow Road at the moment, one thing that supporters can at least say is that the club are performing slightly better at home. The defeat to Villa last Saturday happened to be their first home loss in the league since December, which should at least give some cause for optimism.
It’s been another sterling season for West Brom on the other hand and Steve Clarke will just be hoping that his side can hang on and remain in their current position of 8th. It was only this time last year that the Baggies lost manager Roy Hodgson for the England post and while there were a few worried faces, the Hawthorns board have pulled off a remarkable recruitment in Clarke who has continued the good work that Hodgson started. While there’s no getting away from the positive campaign the club have enjoyed, it has to be said that May has not started well for the club following successive defeats to Wigan and Manchester City. Such losses mean that the club have won just one of their last seven, meaning they will really have to improve if they are going to finish the term in their current position.
The Canaries have been handed a huge boost ahead of the game, with fans favourite John Ruddy poised to return between the sticks after injuring his thigh back in November. Unfortunately, that’s the only piece of good news for Chris Hughton, with Michael Turner still on the treatment table as a groin issue troubles him. West Brom meanwhile will not be able to call on the services of Marc-Antoine Fortune, as suspension rules him out. However, Steven Reid, Gabriel Tams, Goran Popov and Chris Brunt are all available following recent injuries.
West Brom have unquestionably enjoyed the better season out of these two sides, but we think Norwich could pluck a crucial win this time out. The Canaries have generally been strong at home and with their opponents stuttering over recent times, our tip will be a 2-1 victory for Chris Hughton’s side.