LIVERPOOL VS NORWICH PREVIEW: A MUST WIN GAME
After an average start to the season, with the team winless in its last 4 fixtures, Liverpool will host Norwich City on Sunday. It certainly wouldn’t be unfair to consider the match to be the ‘first must win game of the season’ for the Reds. Despite making a positive start in its first 3 fixtures, Liverpool are currently languishing outside the top half of the league, after successive losses against West Ham and Manchester United. However, a convincing victory tomorrow could see the team even make a return to the top five.
With a goal difference of -3 in the first 5 fixtures, it’s indeed clear that Liverpool hasn’t been able to attack efficiently this season. In fact, Liverpool have scored only three goals in the league so far, which indicates that they just haven’t managed to attack effectively. While the defensive lineup had performed flawlessly in the first 3 games, the team conceded 6 goals in its last two games, indicating that oppositions can indeed threaten the Reds with some well co-ordinated attack strategy. Liverpool particularly have been observed to be vulnerable from wider positions. Thus, perhaps manager Rodgers needs to plan attacks from the wide areas, while also ensuring that Norwich won’t be able to threaten from those areas in the manner West Ham and Manchester United did in the last two games.
Dealing with Hendo’s absence
Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson injury at the training today could put him out of action for at least 6 weeks. While Hendo’s absence can be considered a setback, unlike the past two seasons, the squad does have some really good players who could fill in the gap. It’s important that Rodgers will need to make the best use of players like Lallana, Firmino, Lucas, Ings and Allen at the midfield. Perhaps some changes in the regularly applied diamond midfield formation, thus may be necessary, even if Rodgers opts to play with a single striker.
Possible return of Sturridge
Daniel Sturridge reportedly has regained full fitness and could indeed feature for the Reds tomorrow, even if he doesn’t start. Meanwhile, Joe Allen too could be expected to feature in the squad after his recovery. Meanwhile, Coutinho too makes a return from suspension, adding a big boost to the midfield. Changes in the defense could also be expected with Moreno and Sakho expected to be given starts in place of Gomez and Lovren.
Record against Norwich
Norwich City are among the three teams that were promoted to the Premier League in the current season. All Liverpool fans, perhaps remember how Norwich City were regularly dominated by the Reds in the ‘Luis Suarez era’. Norwich certainly aren’t among the stronger teams of the current league- their manager Alex Neil’s stated target for 2015/16 is to simply “survive in the Premier League this season”. Also worth mentioning is the fact that in the last 10 fixtures played between the two, Liverpool won 9 while one match ended in a draw.
Yet, Norwich’s dominant 3-1 victory against Bournemouth did indeed give the message to its opponents that they aren’t in the PL to hand away easy 3 points. Expecting an easy victory in the fixture thus could indeed be regarded as a deluded imagination. Liverpool will have to struggle for a victory against the Canaries. In fact Norwich and Liverpool have equal points in the PL table, with the former boasting a better goal difference than us. Yet, Liverpool certainly boasts a stronger squad and expecting Liverpool to win can be considered a fair prediction.