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    Norwich City v Liverpool: New Look Norwich Attempt To Save Their Season


    The Saturday lunchtime kick-off sees two of the Premier League's most inconsistent teams meet at Carrow Road. Both teams will be looking to bounce back after disappointing defeats to rivals last weekend and get their seasons back on track.

    The hosts have improved their form in East Anglia recently, going unbeaten in their last five games at home. Yet Alex Neil will be concerned how easily his team were torn apart by Bournemouth, Stoke City and Manchester City in their last three games, conceding nine goals in the process. Liverpool's last three league games have summed up their season. They played well against Manchester United but ending up being defeated, scored a late equaliser against Arsenal and performed poorly against West Ham, picking up just one point after a string of inconsistent performances. 



    With the Canaries being drawn closer to the relegation zone and the Reds dropping off the pace in their quest for European football next season, both Alex Neil and Jurgen Klopp have been busy scouting the transfer market. Neil has brought in right-back Ivo Pinto, centre-back Timm Klose and the tireless Steven Naismith, all of which are pushing for a starting place on Saturday. Klopp has taken Steven Caulker on loan to cover a defence that have been plagued by injuries, whilst also being heavily linked with striker Alex Teixera, as Daniel Sturridge remains sidelined after missing 56 of the possible 116 games he could have played for the club.

    The statistics are in the favour of the visitors as they search for their first league win of 2016. Liverpool have won nine and drawn two of their last eleven meetings with Norwich, scoring an average of two goals per game in the process, although they were held to a 1-1 draw at Anfield in September. The Canaries defence will be looking to improve after conceding 38 league goals so far this season, with only Newcastle and Sunderland shipping more. However, Liverpool have struggled on the road lately, losing three of their last four league visits and scoring just one goal in the process. With the absence of Daniel Sturridge, Liverpool have struggled to convert chances, scoring just 10.3% of their shots, with only Aston Villa presenting a worse record in the Premier League.



    If Norwich are to send Liverpool home without any points from their 500 mile round trip, they will have to pick up runs from midfield and up front better than they have done in recent matches. The likes of Aguero, Iheanacho, Joselu, Arnautovic, Pugh, Daniels and Afobe have found it far too easy to drop into gaps between the Norwich midfielders and defenders. At times against Manchester United last weekend, Liverpool passed with fluidity and speed with Firminho, Emre Can, Milner and Lallana swapping positions effectively, causing headaches for the opposition defenders. Christian Benteke will be hoping to start in attack for the visitors, which would in turn pose a different threat for the Norwich defence. The Canaries have conceded 14 goals from crosses so far this season, more than any other team.

    16th place Norwich are without Andre Wisdom, who is unable to play against his parent club, whilst Gary O'Neil continues to serve a suspension and Steven Naismith faces a race against time to make his debut due to an ankle injury. 9th place Liverpool have a wealth of injuries with Martin Skrtel, Phillipe Coutinho, Daniel Sturridge and Jordan Rossiter all suffering from hamstring injuries, whilst Joe Gomez, Divock Origi and Danny Ings are missing with knee problems. Dejan Lovren could return and Jon Flanagan might be considered after making his first appearance for 18 months during a 3-0 FA Cup victory against Exeter on Wednesday, his first game since playing alongside the likes of Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard. 



    The Premier League often throws up some interesting statistics and there are a few that surround this game. Norwich City currently have the same amount of points at this stage of the season as they did in their last top flight appearance, when they got relegated. Jurgen Klopp has the same amount of points at this juncture of his Liverpool career as his predecessor Brendan Rogers. Will history repeat itself for Norwich and Klopp?

    Key Players:
    Declan Rudd- the young goalkeeper has performed well since replacing John Ruddy in the Norwich goal, but he will expect to be busy against Liverpool and will be under pressure after conceding six goals in his last two appearances.

    Emre Can- the Turkish midfielder has looked a different player since being moved to his preffered centre midfield position and the Norwich midfielders will have to be wary of his powerful and purposeful runs.

    Chris Lincoln's Prediction: Norwich City 1-2 Liverpool
    Liverpool were unlucky to not get anything against Manchester United last weekend and if they repeat the same performance they should be strong enough to overturn Norwich.
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    Item Reviewed: Norwich City v Liverpool: New Look Norwich Attempt To Save Their Season Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Chris Lincoln
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