Norwich City on course for record haul
Chris Lakey Norwich City are bang on course for promotion - and they could do it with one of the best points tallies for years. City have a dozen games left in which to keep their heads in front of the likes of Leeds, Colchester and Charlton as the chase for the two automatic places hots up.
Norwich City are bang on course for promotion - and they could do it with one of the best points tallies for years.
City have a dozen games left in which to keep their heads in front of the likes of Leeds, Colchester and Charlton as the chase for the two automatic places hots up.
And with 72 points from 34 games, Paul Lambert's men are well on course if the points garnered by the top two over the previous 10 seasons are anything to go by.
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The average number of points required to claim second place during that period is 85.3, while the average for the last 10 League One champions is 92.7.
If City can maintain their form, then they will finish on 97 points - that's a total that only two teams have surpassed in the past 10 seasons, but it is higher than any of the teams who finished in the second automatic promotion spot.
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The highest total in that period has been 100, which was achieved by Wigan in 2002-03, while two seasons later Luton managed to accrue 98.
The lowest number of points needed to win the title since 1999-2000 was 82, which took Southend to the top in 2005-06.
Rotherham's 91-point haul in 2001 is the highest tally for runners-up spot, while Colchester needed just 79 points in 2006 to go up.
Should City maintain their current momentum and reach 97 points, it would be the highest points tally in the club's history, surpassing the 94 that took them to the old First Division title in 2004.
While the statistics tell an historical story, it's today that counts -and current form does indicate that it's all going well for City, despite two defeats in three games last month.
City are second in the current form table, behind Millwall, and their run of six wins in their last eight games is actually better than their overall form for the season.
The current form table is dominated by teams in the top six of League One, with Leeds being the notable exception.
Simon Grayson's team have won just one of their last six and have dropped to five points behind City, with just one game in hand.
Leeds drew at local rivals Huddersfield on Saturday, with City at The Galpharm a week on Saturday - and Leeds midfielder Jonny Howson believes their fellow Yorkshiremen could do them a favour.
“They have some good teams to go there, who will struggle to pick up points,” he said.
Goalkeeper Casper Ankergren reckons Leeds will shrug off their poor form.
“We're still second in the league, we're still in a great position and there are 13 games to go,” he said. “We can do it all by ourselves and we don't have to rely on anyone else.”
City are odds on with all the leading High Street and on-line bookmakers to claim the title, but they will still have to overcome four of the five teams below them - and only one from the relegation zone.
Trips to Huddersfield and Swindon and a home game against Leeds mean this month will go a long way to deciding their fate - with a visit to Charlton next month.
Charlton also have four top-six battles, but Millwall have five.
Charlton will perhaps be happy that their remaining fixtures include three of the bottom four sides, but Huddersfield have a mixed bag - three top sides and all the sides currently in the drop zone.