Norwich’s defeat at Fulham coupled with an onerous run-in has seen the Canaries whittled down to 1/2 to be relegated this season, but it’s free-falling Swansea who will be hurled over the top rope in the battle royal to beat the drop.
Garry Monk’s men are available at a massive 12/1 to tumble through the Premier League trapdoor despite holding a meagre three-point advantage on the 18th-place Cottagers and recent reports of in-fighting amongst the troops suggests the pressure is telling.
Beating one of Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United or Arsenal will not be easy for a team in as woeful form as the beleaguered Canaries, but if they can manage it they’ll have enough points to overtake the Swans should they lose their final four fixtures.
Under Monk’s marshalling, the south Wales set up have prevailed just twice and both victories came at home against fellow basement boys Cardiff and Norwich, who could even allow the Swans to draw one of their remaining four and still top their points tally with a solitary win.
Swansea’s record against top-half adversaries is the joint-worst in the division; they’ve beaten just one side residing in the upper echelons, losing 13 and the fact that two of their remaining four games are against top-ten outfits should set the panic reverberating around the Liberty Stadium faithful.
Southampton, due to visit the Liberty on the penultimate weekend of the season, are one of the foes in question and their record of besting relegation battlers on their own patches doesn’t bode well.
The Saints despatched Cardiff and Fulham with ease, as well as giving West Brom, Hull and Crystal Palace reasons to be fearful on the road.
Norwich are the only member of the current bottom 12 to beat Southampton at home.
Having won just three times on their travels, Swansea can’t hold too much hope of triumphing at either Newcastle or Sunderland, meaning there’s likely to be an incredible amount of pressure on them to beat Aston Villa in their next home game.
Villa are no mugs on the road, though, having avoided defeat in over half of their away matches so far and in desperate need of points themselves, so they’ll be regarding the fixture with identical importance.
Taking these factors into consideration, Swansea not savouring success again this campaign is feasible, which could well see Norwich safe should they claim one set of spoils before the close of play.