Ipswich/Norwich: Bookies not convinced by Norwich City’s managerial sacking, as the prospect of an East Anglian derby next season continues to grow
06:50 08 April 2014
Will the East Anglian derby return next season?
That is the tantalising question Blues fans were asking themselves yesterday after bitter rivals Norwich City sacked under-pressure manager Chris Hughton – and the bookies brought into question the Norfolk side’s future in the top flight.
While the Canaries are five points clear of the Premier League drop zone, they still have to face title-chasing Liverpool and Chelsea, while a trip to Old Trafford will by no means be an easy game.
According to bookmakers in Ipswich, there has been only a slight drop in the odds of Norwich staying up – but that has been enough to open up the prospect of the East Anglian derby returning to Portman Road.
At Jennings Bet in Upper Brook Street the odds of the Carrow Road side returning to the Championship now stands at 5/4, while at Coral, those odds stand at 6/4.
One bookie told this newspaper: “It (sacking Chris Hughton) has not made a huge difference because of the games that they have got left.”
Those games include a vital tie with relegation rivals Fulham on Saturday before they face Liverpool, Man Utd, Chelsea and Arsenal.
Hughton’s sacking came on the back of Saturday’s 1-0 home defeat to West Brom.
And even though the Super Blues still have one eye on a play-off place, the chance of Norwich getting relegated has brought a wry smile to their faces.
One fan said on Twitter said: “Norwich board are bonkers sacking Houghton at this stage of the season. East Anglian derby next year!”
Another added: “Norwich fans are so deluded, it’s embarrassing. If we don’t make the play-offs, at least we’re guaranteed an easy 6 points next season.”
Meanwhile, TalkSport’s Danny Kelly said: “Ipswich beaten. Norwich beaten. Consolation... East Anglian derby back on next season!”
Even though there will be plenty of banter between the two teams’ fans, the thoughts of Town’s players will be on tonight’s away clash with Huddersfield Town as they look to bounce back from Saturday’s disappointing loss to Blackburn.
Currently the Blues – along with Nottingham Forest, Brighton and Bournemouth – are on 58 points, five adrift of sixth-place Reading.
For a preview of tonight’s game, see today’s sport pages