Exciting football but can Canaries avoid drop? – Norwich 2019/20 Opposition Preview

Norwich return to the Premier League as Championship winners, but can the fashionable Daniel Farke lead the Canaries to safety?

When we play them: August 9 (home); February 8 (away)

The Championship is arguably the toughest league in Europe given its competitive nature and every teams’ ability to beat each other – Norwich stood tall above the rest last season.

Finishing top and playing some superb attacking football along the way, Farke surprisingly led them to a return to the promised land (TM).

Farke, who formerly managed Borussia Dortmund II, and the Canaries now have an even greater challenge on their hands.

They return to the Premier League after three seasons in the second tier, with many tipping them for a swift return there.

Norwich have enjoyed a productive summer, however, and Switzerland striker Josip Drmic is a particularly exciting signing.

Teemu Pukki needs to show that he can thrive in the Premier League, having been the inspiration behind last season’s success.

There will be plenty of entertainment on show from an exciting young team, but it may not be enough to secure their top-flight status.

They, of course, kick off their return with a trip to Anfield on Friday night.


SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Monday, January 21, 2013: Everton's Steven Naismith in action against Southampton's Luke Shaw during the Premiership match at St. Mary's Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Notable ins: Ralf Fahrmann, Sam Byram, Josip Drmic, Patrick Roberts

Notable outs: Steven Naismith, Marcel Franke, Ivo Pinto

Best XI: Krul, Aarons, Klose, Godfrey, Lewis, Trybull, Leitner, Stiepermann, Buendia, Roberts, Pukki.

We spoke to BBC Radio Norfolk’s Sports Editor and commentator Chris Goreham (@CGoreham) to hear about Norwich‘s hopes of survival this season.

How optimistic are you about the new season?

There is still a huge feel-good factor from last season around Norwich.

Their promotion to the Premier League wasn’t expected by even the most optimistic fan and was achieved with such style that it went down as one of The Canaries’ most memorable seasons.

This will clearly be a huge step up but Norwich have been in the top flight often enough in recent years to have a good idea of the challenges ahead.

They return with a proper identity, a clear plan and a distinctive way of playing so, while they have nowhere near the resources of most of the teams in the Premier League, they had enough about them last season to suggest they could cause a few surprises.

What are Norwich’s main objectives for 2019/20?

Clearly it’s all about survival first and foremost, but not at any cost.

Norwich City have given themselves financial challenges in recent years after spending a lot of money on players who didn’t justify the fees when they were previously in the Premier League.

This time there is a determination to do things their way and have a good crack at the Premier League, but to leave themselves in a decent shape to bounce straight back if they do happen to fall short this time.

Who’s your man to watch, and why?

Teemu Pukki was The Championship’s Player of the Season and won the Golden Boot last year, having arrived on a free transfer.

It will be interesting to see how he takes to playing top-flight football in a sixth different country.

The club’s youngsters really stood out last season with the emergence of Max Aarons, Jamal Lewis and Ben Godfrey, in particular, and seeing how their development continues at a higher level is a mouthwatering prospect.

Emi Buendia has bags of potential, too.

* All rival supporter views taken before the end of the transfer window.


Carrow Road

NORWICH, ENGLAND - Friday, January 22, 2016: A general view of Norwich City's Carrow Road stadium before the Premiership match against Liverpool. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Capacity: 27,244

Away fans’ pubs: The Berstrete Gates, the Rose and the Coach & Horses.



NORWICH, ENGLAND - Sunday, April 20, 2014: Liverpool's Luis Suarez celebrates scoring the second goal against Norwich City during the Premiership match at Carrow Road. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

How do you rate Liverpool’s chances ahead of the new season?

There’s no reason to believe that Liverpool won’t be in the top two once again after what they did last season.

Norwich fans are just grateful that Luis Suarez isn’t around anymore!

Whether Liverpool can get as many points as they did in 2018/19 remains to be seen, but along with Man City, they appear to have moved further ahead of the rest of the traditional big teams, who all have question marks hanging over them.

Who are you tipping to be their Player of the Year, and why?

Virgil van Dijk was seriously impressive last season – he is someone I’ve always kept a close eye on because he was once linked with a move to Norwich.

Back when he was at Celtic and Chris Hughton was the Norwich manager, there were rumours that the Canaries had tried hard to bring him to the Premier League.

In the end, he went to Southampton and you know the rest.

TIA’s Norwich Predicted Finish: (Average of the TIA writers’ predictions) 17th

Where Chris says Norwich will finish: 14th

Where Chris says Liverpool will finish: 2nd

This is part of our club-by-club opposition previews this summer, getting the views of away fans on their club and their thoughts on LFC. Read them all here.