It’s here, the new season is upon us and this time it’s a real season with supporters in attendance. Liverpool kick things off at Norwich on Saturday night.
Here’s our match preview with 10 key things you need to know ahead of the Reds’ Premier League opener…
1. Norwich are…
… newly-promoted. Again. Just like they were in 2019, when they arrived at Anfield for the opening game and lost 4-1.
The Reds were greeted onto the pitch as the new European Champions that night, and went on to lift the league title at the end of the season. An omen that isn’t lost any Red.
The Canaries, meanwhile, haven’t had a great pre-season and lost 3-0 to Newcastle in their last friendly.
2. We won’t be seeing…
Team news-wise, Liverpool are without Andy Robertson (ankle) and Curtis Jones (concussion), while Jordan Henderson and Thiago won’t be starting after only returning to pre-season last week.
For Norwich, there’s no Emil Buendia after they sold their star player to Aston Villa to replace Jack Grealish.
Daniel Farke’s side were missing six players for their final friendly last week due to covid issues, but don’t have any major injury concerns now.
Forward Teemu Pukki was among those diagnosed with covid in pre-season and has admitted he is still feeling his way back to full fitness.
3. Norwich have signed…
Billy Gilmour on loan from Chelsea. Who Klopp described as Scotland’s biggest prospect in his pre-match press conference.
They also added centre-back Ben Gibson from Burnley, American striker Josh Sargen from Werder Bremen, Greek winger Christos Tzolis from PAOK, plus midfielder Milot Rashica, who was previously linked with Liverpool.
Some decent business and they fancy their chances of staying up more this season.
4. Mo Salah has opening day form – and could set yet another record
This is Salah’s fifth season at Liverpool and in his previous four opening day fixtures he’s scored a combined six goals.
And if he does so, he will become the first player to score in five successive opening Premier League fixtures. Yet another record for the Egyptian King incoming?
5. The opponent’s likely lineup is:
Krul; Aarons, Hanley, Gibson, Giannoulis; Gilmour, Lees-Melou; Rashica, Sorensen, Cantwell, Pukki
In all honesty, we’re not sure though. They could go with a back three, or even throw in new signing Sargent up front.
6. Did you know?
Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 14 Premier League matches against Norwich (W12 D2), netting 44 goals across those fixtures, an average of 3.1 goals per match.
7. The form guide suggests:
A win for Liverpool.
In the last nine fixtures between these two sides, Liverpool have won eight, scoring 32 goals in the process!
Norwich‘s pre-season results saw them beat King’s Lynn Town, Lincoln City and Huddersfield, then face games vs. Coventry and Sheffield United being cancelled due to a covid outbreak in their camp.
They then beat Gillingham 5-0 and lost to Newcastle 3-0.
8. Carrow Road is…
… a 27,244-capacity stadium, and Liverpool have an allocation of 2,669 tickets.
Our last five visits to Carrow Road were:
Won 1-0 – February 2014 (Mane)
Won 5-4 – January 2016 (Mbokani, Naismith, Hoolahan, Bassong; Firmino x2, Henderson, Milner, Lallana)
Won 3-2 – April 2014 (Hooper, Snodgrass; Sterling x2, Suarez)
Won 5-2 – September 2012 (Morison, Holt; Suarez x3, Sahin, Barnett OG)
Won 3-0 – April 2012 (Suarez x3)
If you’re lucky enough to be heading to Norfolk, NCFC fan Daniel Emery‘s advice is:
“Try the sausage rolls in the concourse. In all seriousness, the biggest thing – literally – to look out for is the giant rotating big screen situated next to the away section.
“It will have a pre-game show, replays of incidents during the game and the score/time/bookings/substitutions if you need to see any of that information. Just look up to your right and it will be there!”
The away fans pub is the Stadia Bar on Upper King Street, which is a 15-minute walk away from the stadium.
9. The ref is Andre Marriner
The VAR is Stuart Atwell…
10. It’s on Sky Sports (in the UK)
The match is live on Sky Sports – kick off at 5.30pm (UK). We’ll have our usual match coverage from 5pm here on This Is Anfield.