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    Norwich City v Sunderland: Judgement Day

    Article by Chris Lincoln

    With Aston Villa all but down and the emotion around Newcastle United consigning them to the drop, the final relegation spot looks to be a straight scrap between Norwich City and Sunderland. The contest could not be much better poised, with the Canaries four points better off but the Black Cats possessing a game in hand. Saturday's result could give us a better idea of who might be playing Championship football next season.

    The Carrow Road faithful will be the happier set of fans, as points on the board are much more important at such an unpredictable stage in the season. Norwich had turned their season around with crucial victories against West Bromwich Albion and Newcastle United, but hit a wall in their 1-0 defeat to Crystal Palace last weekend.

    Sam Allardyce cut a frustrated figure at the Stadium of Light on Sunday, as a positive display was eventually downed by a Jamie Vardy double as league leaders Leicester City stole three points. It is another blow in a long line of late disappointments for the Wearside club, after conceding an equaliser in the last ten minutes against rivals Newcastle United and failing to find the back of the net in another solid display against West Brom the week before.

    Mixed emotions at the Stadium of Light last weekend 

    Sunderland will be desperate for all three points after failing to register a victory since their Valentines weekend treat against Manchester United. Yet their record against Norwich does not make good reading for the visiting fans, who will have to set off early for a 250 mile trip in time to make the lunchtime kick-off. Sunderland have lost all three visits to Carrow Road in the Premier League and won just once in seven encounters at the top table of English football. Norwich's first win of the season came at the Stadium of Light.

    The hosts are still without long term absentee Alex Tettey but could welcome back club captain Russell Martin after he missed the last two matches with a knee injury. Remarkably Timm Klose could recover in time, despite being stretchered off against Crystal Palace last weekend. Sunderland have no fresh injury concerns to contend with, whilst Duncan Watmore has returned to training this week. 
    Jermain Defoe is key to Sunderland's survival hopes

    Key Players:
    Robbie Brady- the Irish winger has been one of Norwich's best players this season, with three goals and two assists culminating from a string of consistent performances. 

    Jermain Defoe- where would Sunderland be without the former England international? The striker has 12 Premier League goals to his name this season and could be the man to keep Sunderland afloat.

    Chris Lincoln's Prediction: Norwich City 1-1 Sunderland
    The visitors have drawn four of their last six and I cannot see any other outcome in a tight game between two teams who have too much to lose.

    Photos by Getty Images and Reuters

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    Item Reviewed: Norwich City v Sunderland: Judgement Day Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Chris Lincoln
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