Norwich v Bournemouth: Hard to pick between two sides in big trouble
It's a relegation six-pointer when Norwich clash with Bournemouth, but Dan Fitch thinks that these two desperate sides will have to make do with sharing a point.
Norwich 2.30 v Bournemouth 3.40; The Draw 3.60 Saturday 18 January, 15:00
Yellows in peril as time runs out for recovery
The two bottom teams in the Premier League meet on Saturday when Norwich host Bournemouth and it's a match that the Canaries simply must win if they are to stand any chance of staying up.
Rock bottom Norwich have earned just 14 points from 22 games, leaving them six points away from 19th placed Bournemouth and eight points away from safety. They have won just one of their last 17 Premier League games (D5 L11).
Yet for a team in such trouble, there have been a surprising amount of positive results from which they can draw inspiration. Norwich beat Manchester City 3-2 at Carrow Road in September and in December had draws against the likes of Arsenal, Leicester and Spurs. If Norwich could only perform against seemingly more beatable teams their situation would be much improved.
One thing that has held Norwich back all season has been their poor luck with injuries. Ben Godfrey, Timm Klose and Josip Drmic are all out, while Grant Hanley and Teemu Pukki face fitness tests.
Bournemouth enter unfamiliar fight without walking wounded
Another club that have had their hopes for the season decimated by injuries are Bournemouth.
After finishing 16th in their first season in the Premier League in 2015-16, Bournemouth have enjoyed three comfortable mid-table finishes in which they stayed clear of any real threat of relegation. Now they find themselves in a dogfight, with just 16 games of the season remaining.
Like Norwich, the Cherries have saved some of their best performances for high class opposition, with their wins over Manchester United and Chelsea being their only Premier League victories over the last 16 games (D4 L10). In their last three games, against opposition you might expect Bournemouth to beat - Brighton, West Ham and Watford - they have lost all three matches, conceding nine goals and scoring none.
Bournemouth's injury list is still a very long one. Aaron Ramsdale, Charlie Daniels, Lloyd Kelly, Chris Mepham, Jack Stacey, Junior Stanislas, David Brooks, Arnaut Groeneveld and Josh King are all currently out.
Draw stands out as value
Norwich are the 2.30favourites, with Bournemouth at 3.40 and the draw at 3.60.
With both sides in such poor form, there's no real argument for either to win. Norwich's home advantage makes them worthy favourites, but their price should surely be bigger when you consider that their shock victory over Manchester City, was their last at Carrow Road.
The value lies with the draw as the outsider in the market at 3.60. Three of Norwich's last five home games have ended as a draw, with the other two being lost by a single goal.
Another low scoring game for Cherries
My go-to bet for Bournemouth matches used to be Both Teams To Score, but it says much for their slump in form that this has been replaced by Under 2.5 goals, which is available at 2.12.
Four of Bournemouth's last six Premier League games have seen less than three goals scored. Once reliable scorers, Bournemouth are now finding it difficult to put the ball in the net and have only scored twice in their last eight matches. With Norwich only scoring more than once in one of their last eight appearances, under 2.5 goals seems a pretty safe bet.