Canaries could miss comforts of home more than most at neutral venues

PUBLISHED: 06:00 05 May 2020 | UPDATED: 11:25 05 May 2020

Goal-scorer Jamal Lewis, right, and Todd Cantwell celebrate after Norwich City's last home game, a 1-0 win over Leicester on February 28 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Goal-scorer Jamal Lewis, right, and Todd Cantwell celebrate after Norwich City's last home game, a 1-0 win over Leicester on February 28 Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Paul Chesterton

Norwich City could be hurt by the loss of home advantage more than any other Premier League team, as the prospect of completing the season at neutral venues looms.

Uncertainty currently dominates, with all English games suspended since March 13 and negotiations under way with government officials about how and when it could be possible to resume.

The Canaries and the other 19 Premier League clubs reasserted their preference for concluding the campaign when it is safe to do so after a league meeting on Friday, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Since that meeting on Friday it has been widely reported that clubs were informed that as well as games having to be played behind closed doors - which is still yet to be officially confirmed - that the remaining matches will have to be played at neutral venues. Wembley is reportedly one of up to 10 stadiums being considered as venues for Project Restart, which aims to recommence the campaign in June, as it is close to hotels.

However, number crunchers at Sky Sports have worked out that Norwich have taken 73 percent of their total points from home matches so far this season, ahead of survival rivals Aston Villa (71pc) and mid-table Everton (69pc). With the Canaries bottom and on the fewest points (21), that is perhaps not too surprising.

Victories over Newcastle, Manchester City, Bournemouth and Leicester, as well as draws with Tottenham, Arsenal and Crystal Palace, have accounted for 15 points from a possible 42 at home for Daniel Farke’s team.

Winning 2-0 at Everton and drawing at Bournemouth, Leicester and Newcastle amounts to just six from a possible 45 outside of Norfolk, with Sky’s study finding that 44.8pc of wins have gone to the home team in the top flight so far this season.

During the Canaries’ nine Premier League campaigns so far, they have taken just over 60pc of their points (244 of 406 points in total) from home games - showing the importance of Carrow Road.

Of course no one knows how players would cope without fans and at neutral venues but with City still having five home games - all of which are against teams placed 10th or lower - questions about the legitimacy of concluding the season with home advantage removed must be asked.

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