Reds host Canaries as another Premier League season begins – Liverpool vs. Norwich Preview

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A new Premier League season gets underway on Friday night, with European Champions Liverpool welcoming newly-promoted Norwich to Anfield. Here’s all you need to know.

Liverpool vs. Norwich

Friday, August 9, 2019 – 8pm (BST)
Anfield
Premier League
Referee: Michael Oliver


Right then, here we go again.

It only feels like yesterday that Jordan Henderson was hoisting the Champions League aloft in Madrid on one of the Reds’ greatest nights.

A relatively low-key summer and pre-season has been and gone since Jurgen Klopp‘s side secured European Cup number six—now it’s time to focus on league commitments.

Liverpool did themselves proud in taking Man City all the way to the final day last season, but 97 points somehow wasn’t enough in the end.

A similarly freakish level of consistency is required in 2019/20, as the Reds look to finally end that horrible 30-year wait for a league title.

Heading to Merseyside on Friday are an exciting Norwich team—one who clinched the Championship title last season under the tutelage of Daniel Farke.

On paper, this should be about as one-sided as it gets on the opening night of the season, but the Canaries must not be underrated.

They will likely raise their game on a special evening for the club and Klopp’s men need to be ruthless in front of an expectant crowd.

Liverpool’s performance in the Community Shield was one of a team clicking at just the right time, despite losing on penalties to City—that bodes well ahead of the visit of Norwich.

 

Team News

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, August 4, 2019: Liverpool's players line-up for a team group photograph before the FA Community Shield match between Manchester City FC and Liverpool FC at Wembley Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp has almost a full squad to choose from. Sadio Mane is in contention to start, despite arriving back for training later than his team-mates, but he may be on the substitutes’ bench.

At the back, Klopp has to choose between Joe Gomez and Joel Matip to partner Virgil van Dijk—judging by his Community Shield selection, Gomez has the edge.

Fabinho is almost certain to start at the base of the midfield, while Henderson and Gini Wijnaldum are favourites to join him.

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND - Wednesday, July 31, 2019: Liverpool's Naby Keita during a pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and Olympique Lyonnais at Stade de Genève. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Naby Keita brought more guile against City, however, so he, fit-again Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and an improved Adam Lallana represent more creative options.

Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino are expected to start proceedings, and in Mane’s potential absence, Madrid hero Divock Origi is likely to take up a left-sided role.

Rhian Brewster is looking to make his mark this season and he could represent an exciting option off the bench.

Farke is without Timm Klose, Christoph Zimmermann and Alex Tettey, explaining on Thursday that his side “have just two centre-backs and one natural defensive midfielder.”

 

Last 5 at Home to Norwich (All Competitions)

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 4, 2013: Liverpool's Luis Suarez celebrates scoring the first goal against Norwich City during the Premiership match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Drew 1-1 – September 2015 (Ings; Martin)
Won 5-1 – December 2013 (Suarez x4, Sterling; Johnson)
Won 5-0 – January 2013 (Henderson, Suarez, Sturridge, Gerrard, Bennett OG)
Drew 1-1 – October 2011 (Bellamy; Holt)
Won 3-0 – September 2004 (Baros, Garcia, Cisse)

 

The Opposition

Having spent three seasons away from the Premier League, Norwich are back.

The Canaries are always a welcome addition to the top flight, playing an attractive brand of football and possessing a classic old-school stadium in Carrow Road.

Norwich have thrived with Farke at the helm, following the 42-year-old’s move from Borussia Dortmund II to East Anglia in 2017.

If a 14th-placed finish in his first season was adequate, what the Canaries achieved in 2018/19 was magnificent.

They topped the Championship table with 94 points, losing just six times in arguably the most competitive league in Europe.

Teemu Pukki was the star man, leading the goalscoring charts with 30 goals, but there were several outstanding performers, from Max Aarons and Jamal Lewis at the back to Marco Stiepermann in midfield.

A productive summer in the transfer window has seen a number of good players acquired, not least on-loan Schalke goalkeeper Ralf Fahrmann and Switzerland striker Josip Drmic.

Norwich may still be among the favourites to be relegated this season, but they look better equipped than others to beat the drop.

 

Did You Know?

Liverpool's Sadio Mane celebrates scoring his sides fourth goal with Jurgen Klopp during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London. Picture date August 14th, 2016 Pic David Klein/Sportimage via PA Images

Liverpool are unbeaten in their last five opening Premier League matches.

Their last defeat came in August 2012, when Brendan Rodgers suffered a dreadful first league game as manager, losing 3-0 at West Brom.

The following season, 2013/14, Simon Mignolet‘s debut penalty save helped earn the Reds a 1-0 victory at home to Stoke, before beating Southampton 2-1 at Anfield 12 months later.

Philippe Coutinho scored a beauty to nick a win at Stoke in 2015/16 and a stunning 4-3 triumph at Arsenal saw 2016/17 start with a bang—who else remembers Klopp giving Mane a piggyback at the Emirates?

Most recently, a late Watford equaliser proved costly in a 3-3 draw at Vicarage Road and West Ham were swatted aside 4-0 at Anfield last August.

 

Klopp’s View

Speaking at his pre-match press conference on Thursday, Klopp insisted Norwich will be a tough proposition, as he comes up against a number of former players:

“They are really special for a Championship team, what they were last year, because the way they played: clear structure, clear plan, little coincidences in the game, everything looks properly planned. They have all my respect.

“But these kinds of fixtures, with all the stories around, are always like the proper banana skins.

“It’s like it’s made for something like that if you are not aware of it. If you don’t go 100 percent in a game like this, you will slip 100 percent.

“They are too good for that, that’s a good team, the funny thing is with that I don’t think I’ve ever faced a Premier League team where I’ve worked together with so many players before!

“So that’s really nice. They were really young [at Dortmund], yes, but I still know them.”

 

TV & Liveblog Info

Camera, Anfield, matchday (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool vs. Norwich is Sky Sports’ first live Premier League game of the season, with coverage getting underway on Sky Sports Main Event at 7pm (BST). Kickoff is at 8pm.

Ben Twelves is in charge of This Is Anfield’s matchday liveblog, keeping you up-to-date with events from 7.15pm.

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