The 2021-2022 Premier League season will kick off soon and newly promoted Norwich City has a massive challenge upfront. The Championship winners will host the mighty Liverpool at Carrow Road.
When and Where To Watch
Norwich City vs Liverpool will be available to watch on Star Sports Select and Disney Hotstar. The fixture will kick off at 10:00 PM IST on Saturday.
Liverpool ended the season with an imperious run of away games that arguably secured them a Champions League spot. Jurgen Klopp would hope for his squad to adjust quickly and make easy work of the home side.
The immense difference in the squads means that the Merseyside team will assume control of the possession. Liverpool’s suffocating pressing system will mean that Norwich will have to work hard to not lose the ball in their own half.
These two teams were the subject of the opening match of the Premier League two years ago. Norwich had no reply to the Liverpool onslaught and Farke will have to be wary in order to avoid an encore.
Norwich will hope to capitalize on the counter-attack which is usually the go-to measure for smaller teams against the dominant sides in the Premier League. Returning Virgil Van Dijk would be hoping for a clean sheet upon his return to the side.
Team News and Update
Liverpool is heading into the season following a rather bleak transfer window. They roped in Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig to resolve their centre-back crisis. The heart of the defense is also bolstered by the return of Joe Gomez, Joel Matip, and Virgil Van Dijk. The latter was rewarded with a brand new contract ahead of the season opener.
Jurgen Klopp’s biggest concern lies in the form of an injury concern to Andy Robertson. The left-back had injured his ligament in pre-season. He is expected to be replaced by Tsimikas. Club captain James Henderson is also a doubt for the fixture.
The Merseyside club will also be without Curtis Jones, who suffered a concussion in the pre-season. Meanwhile, the famed front three of Salah, Mane, and Firmino would hope to get back to their best having had a forgettable season.
Having amassed 97 points in the Championship last season and gaining promotion by a fair margin, Norwich would be desperate to cling on. Daniel Farke has been handed a fresh contract and he has been busy in the transfer window. The side lost their chief creator, Emiliano Buendia, to Aston Villa, but have secured the loan of Billy Gilmour among other players in the window.
All eyes would be on Teemu Pukki, who had scored at Anfield, during the opening match of the 2019-20 season. The Finnish striker faded away after winning Player Of The Month in August that campaign. Another cause of probable worry comes in with a potential injury to promising youngster Cantwell.
Expected lineup for Norwich City vs Liverpool
Norwich City probable starting lineup:
Krul; Aarons, Hanley, Gibson, Giannoulis; Rupp, Gilmour, Lees-Melou; Rashica, Pukki, Cantwell
Liverpool probable starting lineup:
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Tsimikas; Fabinho, Thiago, Milner; Salah, Firmino, Mane
Liverpool: Sadio Mane
The winger had a forgettable season overall and will be raring to go this time around. He would relish the opportunity to have a run at defenders. Mane had a long off-season and will look to utilize the energy to steer Liverpool off to a good start.
Norwich City: Billy Gilmour
The young midfielder ran the show on his debut against Liverpool in the FA Cup. While the circumstances are different, he has already proved his ability against superior opposition. Gilmour will hope to glue the midfield together and be a solid link between the two ends of the pitch and maybe try to retain possession in the middle of the park to initiate a counter.
Head to Head Record
Liverpool has not lost their last five matches against the Canaries with only a single draw keeping the record from being flawless. The last time these two teams met at Carrow Road, a Sadio Mane goal separated these two sides. Carrow Road also hosted a Premier League classic in 2016 that ended 5-4 in the favour of the away side courtesy of a late winner by Adam Lallana.
14 Norwich wins, 37 Liverpool wins and 15 draws remain the record between the two sides after having played their first match in 1909.
12th Man Prediction for Norwich City vs Liverpool
Liverpool is firm favourites in the contest and will take the initiative right from the kick-off whistle. Expect a dominant victory for the Merseyside club by a margin of 3-0. Salah would aim to be the first player to score in an opening fixture five times in a row. He has scored in all of Liverpool’s opening fixtures since his arrival. Leeds, Norwich, West Ham, and Watford have been his victims so far.