A crunch clash takes place at Selhurst Park on Saturday with both Crystal Palace and Norwich knowing that a win will go a long way to securing their top flight status for another season.
Palace picked up a valuable and unexpected point at West Ham last weekend as they scrap to avoid being dragged further into a relegation fight; the draw at Upton Park left them seven points above the drop zone.
Remarkably, the Eagles went into Christmas with the same number of points as Tottenham and there were growing calls for Alan Pardew to be given the England job after the Euros; the change in fortunes of those two teams have meant those calls have now quietened as the club have plummeted down the table.
Finding a reliable source of goals has been a problem all season for Palace; defender Scott Dann is their joint-top scorer with five, along with Yohan Cabaye and Connor Wickham.
Norwich head to south London looking for their first win at Selhurst Park since May 1996, a winless run which stretches back 14 games.
However, Alex Neil’s side will be full of confidence after back-to-back wins, including last weekend’s rollercoaster 3-2 win over Newcastle; Martin Olsson’s last-gasp winner took the Canaries four points clear of trouble as they seek to avoid an immediate return to the Championship.
City have won just three times on the road this season, but a victory on Saturday would see them go level on points with Palace and pile the pressure on the north-east duo beneath them, both of whom have by far the more experienced managers but do not have the points on the board that Neil’s side have accumulated.
Pardew could have Connor Wickham available again following injury – the striker scored four goals in two Premier League games before picking up an injury at the start of March.
Yohan Cabaye is also fit again after missing out on the trip to the Boleyn Ground last Saturday, but Emmanuel Adebayor remains a doubt with a knock.
For the visitors, captain Russell Martin is expected to be fit after he was ruled out of the win against Newcastle with a knock, and Alex Tettey is the club’s only long-term absentee.
League Position: Crystal Palace – 16th (34 pts); Norwich – 17th (31 pts)
Previous Meeting: Norwich 1-3 Crystal Palace (August 8, 2015)
Form: Crystal Palace – LLDLLD; Norwich – LLLDWW
Key Men: Crystal Palace – Yannick Bolasie; Norwich – Steven Naismith
Shoot Says: Crystal Palace 1-1 Norwich