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Liverpool vs Norwich: Kops eye perfect start as Premier League returns

Liverpool finished second last season. (PHOTOS/Courtesy)

Liverpool vs Norwich City

Anfield Stadium, Liverpool

Friday, 09-08-2019 @10pm

Referee: Michael Oliver

Liverpool came so close to winning their first-ever Premier League title last season but ended up finishing second, one point behind eventual winners Man City.

They start the 2019/20 season optimistic that this may be their year and after maintaining almost the same squad that nearly won the league last season, the Kops dare to dream once again.

The just-concluded transfer window has not seen major signings for Jurgen Klopp’s side with only three players coming in. Sepp van de Berg (PEC Zwolle), Hervey Elliot (Fulham) and goalkeeper Adrian (West Ham) are the new faces to the team.

For Norwich, they won the 2018/19 EFL Championship to make a return to the Premier League after a three-year absence.

They start the campaign as one of the 5 relegation candidates. They had a rather cautious approach to the transfer market with Josip Drmic for Borrusia Monchgladbach their major signing.

Norwich start the season as one of the relegation candidates.

It is set to be a long season for them and things couldn’t get off to a tougher start than a trip to Anfield.

What they are saying ahead of the game

Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool manager

“The first game of the season is always difficult. Norwich have a clear plan and they have all my respect.

“These fixtures are always the banana skins. If you are not at 100%, you will slip.”

Daniel Farke, Norwich Manager

“I had a little smile when I saw our first game is against Liverpool.

“For me, they might be the best team in the world right now.

“Our lack of Premier League experience could be a positive. Our naivety could be a good thing.

“I want my players to go out there and think about why they first started playing football. I want them to be brave and enjoy playing.”

Team news

Liverpool forward Sadio Mane is available despite starting pre-season late because of his involvement with Senegal at the Africa Cup of Nations. Midfielder James Milner, who missed the Community Shield last weekend, has recovered from a muscle strain.

Norwich will be without injured central defenders Timm Klose and Christoph Zimmermann, along with midfielders Alex Tettey and Louis Thompson. Josip Drmic and Patrick Roberts are among the new signings who could play.

Match stats

Liverpool are unbeaten in the past 12 meetings (W10, D2). Norwich’s last win over the Reds was by 1-0 at Anfield in the Premier League in April 1994. The last six meetings have produced 34 goals, an average of almost six goals a game. Liverpool previously hosted Norwich in the opening fixture of a top-flight campaign in 1976, winning 1-0 and going on to take the title.

Liverpool ended the 2018-19 Premier League season with nine consecutive victories, and have had only four longer top-flight winning streaks. They’re unbeaten at Anfield against promoted sides in 25 games (W20, D5), with Jurgen Klopp winning all 10 while he has been in charge. Roberto Firmino is two goals away from becoming the first Brazilian to score 50 Premier League goals. He scored twice in his only previous Premier League start against Norwich. Sadio Mane has scored in Liverpool’s opening Premier League game in each of the past three seasons, as well as in nine of Liverpool’s last 10 league fixtures at Anfield.

Premier League upcoming fixtures

Saturday, 10-08-2019

-West Ham United vs Man City @2:30pm

-AFC Bournemouth vs Sheffield United @5pm

-Burnley vs Southampton @5pm

-Crystal Palace vs Everton @5pm

-Watford vs Brighton @5pm

-Tottenham vs Aston Villa @7pm

Sunday, 11-08-2019

-Leicester City vs Wolves @4pm

-Newcastle United vs Arsenal @4pm

-Man United vs Chelsea @6:30pm

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