Competition: Premier League – Norwich City vs. Liverpool
Venue: Carrow Road – Saturday, January 23 – 12:45 GMT (07:45 ET)
Match Odds: Norwich City 3/1 – Draw 5/2 – Liverpool 13/5
Norwich return back to East Anglia after back-to-back defeats to Stoke City and Bournemouth. They conceded six goals in those two fixtures and need to shore up defensively now.
Manager, Alex Neil has been busy in the last few days with the signings of Scotland international Steven Naismith, Swiss centre-back Timm Klose and Ivan Pinto from Dynamo Zagreb joining to try and help maintain the Canaries’ Premier League status.
As we said in this week’s Podcast, Steven Naismith’s signing could prove valuable for the club with his goals and experience. Five more wins this season could keep them up, and with nine fixtures to play at home, Norwich will hope they can rely on home comforts to see them through.
Liverpool have been very inconsistent this term and are sitting in ninth place in the Premier League, with no win in three league matches. The latest being the 1-0 defeat at Anfield to Manchester United last Sunday.
A win over Exeter City in the FA Cup third round replay on Wednesday might have put some confidence back into the Reds, and Klopp ensured several first-team players were rested for that tie.
The German manager has plenty of injury worries that don’t seem to want to go away, with several first-team players out with injuries for extended periods of time. But one positive is that Jon Flanagan has returned after 18 months out.
The reverse fixture saw Norwich take a point at Anfield with a 1-1 draw back in September and the Canaries will be desperate to go one better this time around.
Norwich have no fresh injury concerns ahead of the game but Gary O’Neil will continue to serve his suspension after his red card against Stoke City.
Liverpool have a whole host of injuries as Divock Origi (knee), Philippe Coutinho (hamstring), Dejan Lovren (hamstring), Martin Skrtel (hamstring), Danny Ings (ACL), Joe Gomez (ACL) and Daniel Sturridge (hip) are all still sidelined
Norwich City’s last five: L/W/W/L/L
Liverpool’s last five: W/W/L/D/L
Key Stat: Liverpool last lost at Carrow Road in May 1993.
Key Player: Wes Hoolahan – The Irish playmaker will want to add to his impressive tally of six assists for the season. With Steven Naismith expected to play some part, Norwich fans will be hoping they strike up a formidable partnership to propel them up the table.
Norwich City 1-1 Liverpool – This one has draw written all over it. An impressive draw at Anfield for Norwich earlier in the season will give them belief. The Reds played in the week and Norwich have had that extra rest, so they will fancy their chances. But Liverpool will still be hard to beat. There might not be many goals but a score draw looks likely.