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Sam Allardyce believes Sunderland’s visit to Norwich City is critical

Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce says he already has one eye on next weekend’s prospective relegation play-off at Norwich while preparing his side to face Leicester on Sunday.

Irrespective of the outcome at the Stadium of Light, Allardyce admits the match at Carrow Road next weekend is the one most likely to determine whether the Black Cats can prepare for another top-flight campaign next season.

Allardyce maintains confidence is high among his Sunderland players that they can become only the fourth team to beat Claudio Ranieri’s buoyant Leicester City side in the league this season.

“We need to go out and win this game but at the end it’s still about not losing it,” said Allardyce of the lunchtime kick‑off. “Norwich will be must-win for us because they are our nearest rivals and we will have to go all out to get the three points.

“If we’re going to beat them we can’t afford to miss the sort of chances we missed last week and Southampton missed [against Leicester] last week.

“When we watched it back it was even more difficult to take. It was a great shame that it was not a very comfortable victory but you have got to take your chances and if you don’t you pay the price in this league.”

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