Stuart Pearce says Norwich City are favourites for Premier League survival

Norwich City, Sunderland, Newcastle United and Aston Villa make up the bottom four.

Former Nottingham Forest manager Stuart Pearce believes survival is now in Norwich City’s hands but feels Newcastle United have made a real coup in getting Rafa Benitez, the ePlayer video shows.

Norwich, Newcastle and Sunderland are now in a scrap to stay up where it has become a situation where two from three will join Aston Villa in relegation to the Championship.

Newcastle have fresh belief under Benitez, Sunderland are ever-improving under Sam Allardyce yet Norwich find themselves currently out of the bottom three and with both of their rivals to visit Carrow Road.

Commenting on the relegation scrap, Pearce feels the Canaries have survival in their own hands.

“It’s in Norwich’s hands, they’ve got good fixtures coming up and they’ve also got Newcastle and Sunderland in the next two or three games,” he explained.

“Newcastle have given themselves every chance with Rafa Benitez as their manager and they’ve certainly paid money over the last calender year on players to make sure they stay in the Premier League.

“But the Premier League has no respect in terms of reputations.”

Only a few weeks ago it appeared Sunderland were the most likely to claw themselves out of danger, yet dropped points from winning positions against Newcastle and Southampton have hindered them.

Norwich had not won a game since early January and struggled for goals, yet a 1-0 win at West Bromwich Albion saw them leapfrog the Black Cats into 17th position with seven games remaining.

The Canaries host the Magpies this weekend in a huge six-pointer, and victory for the hosts would put them six points clear of the Tyneside club with a superior goal difference.

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