Here we go!
The Premier League 2019/20 season has arrived and will be kicked off with a Friday night clash between Liverpool and Norwich and Anfield.
With Liverpool looking to kickstart a fresh title challenge and Norwich finding their way again in the Premier League following promotion, we could be in for an interesting game.
Liverpool would have felt rather down at the end of the Premier League season having lost out on the title by just 1 point to Manchester City. Of course, we now know that Liverpool went on to win the Champions League which more than made up for that feeling of disappointment.
Liverpool's final 5 Premier League games saw them win all 5, finishing a whopping 25 points ahead of 3rd placed Chelsea. Over the course of the season, Liverpool scored 89 goals, an average of 2.28 goals per game. They also only conceded 22 goals, an average of 0.56 goals per game.
Norwich were the standout team of the Championship during the 2018/19 season and finished in 1st place on 94 points. Automatic promotion to the Premier League was the prize, with Sheffield United and Aston Villa joining them in the process. In their final 5 Championship games, Norwich won 2 and drew 3.
Head to Head
In the previous 10 meetings between the clubs, Liverpool won 8 and there were 2 draws. Norwich have failed to beat Liverpool since April 1994.
Liverpool's final pre-season game was the Community Shield final against Manchester City. The game finished 1-1 with Manchester City winning on penalties. Although this is somewhat annoying for Liverpool supporters, it was a very impressive performance from the Reds and Manchester City were struggling against them big-time in the 2nd half. Klopp will be more than content with the performance levels of his players.
With home advantage and the big hitters back in the squad, Liverpool will be looking to put 3 points on the table here. With Norwich only just promoted back into the Premier League, they'll be keen to impress so Liverpool will need to avoid any complacency. Nevertheless, this is unlikely to occur in the first game of the season and if Liverpool are anywhere near their best then it should be a routine win for Klopp and his players.
The aim of the game here is to play quick-passing attacking football that Norwich may not be able to deal with. Salah and Firmino both looked fresh in the game against Manchester City so will be looking to open their accounts for the season.
Norwich are somewhat of an unknown entity as one of the newly promoted teams. What we do know is that they performed very well in the Championship last season so can't be written off as relegation fodder before a ball has been kicked.
Nevertheless, it's a big step up to the Premier League and Norwich have not been dealt an easy fixture to kick things off. Their best chance of a result here is to play a high energy game and hope that they can catch Liverpool with some cobwebs left to be blown off at the start of the season. Finding some form of control in midfield would help Norwich to avoid being pinned back by waves of Liverpool attacks but this is easier said than done. Set pieces could be a useful attacking outlet.
Although this is the Premier League and anything can happen, I think Liverpool will get the job done in front of their home supporters here. The team will be keen to set a marker for the rest of the top 6 to follow over the rest of the weekend and, if the team plays well, they should have too much for this Norwich team.
Liverpool are heavy favourites here so there is no value in backing them for the win.
- I'd be interested in Over 2.5 goals at odds of 1.50 or above.
- Liverpool HT/FT at 1.60 also catches my eye.
- For a riskier bet, Over 3.5 goals at odds of 2.22 is tempting.