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Norwich season restart preview


NORWICH, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 14: Teemu Pukki of Norwich City celebrates with teammates after scoring his team’s third goal during the Premier League match between Norwich City and Manchester City at Carrow Road on September 14, 2019 in Norwich, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

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With the 2019-20 Premier League season soon to restart, let’s focus on all 20 clubs and see where they are at ahead of the final nine weeks of the season as Norwich are up next.

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Focusing on Daniel Farke’s Norwich, they sit bottom of the table but have shown enough promising displays this season to suggest they can surge out of the relegation zone late in the season. The Canaries are six points from safety but given their sensible spending and having the lowest budget in the Premier League, that is very good going. They have a chance of staying up but will likely need to win at least five of their final nine games. They’ve won five games from 29 games so far this season.

[ MORE: Every PL season restart preview ]

Let’s take a closer look at all things Norwich when it comes to the season restart.

Outlook: Look, the Canaries plan was to try and finish fourth from bottom and they still have a chance of doing that. Farke was given limited funds to spend and even if they are relegated, it is highly unlikely he will be fired this summer. Norwich play an open, expansive style of soccer and they are extremely entertaining to watch for the neutral. Defensively they need to improve massively but going forward, Teemu Pukki is always a threat, while midfielders Emiliano Buendia and Todd Cantwell are both destined for big things. With five of their final nine games at home and all looking pretty winnable, if Norwich can turn Carrow Road into a fortress, they can get out of trouble. Their away schedule is tough but they do play three times around them in their final nine games, so there are plenty of six-pointers which will be pivotal. No matter what happens, it has been fun to have Norwich in the Premier League this season and their status as a well-run yo-yo club continues. They’re in the FA Cup quarterfinals too, which shows their ability to deliver on one-off occasions.

Tactical analysis: The one thing Norwich do extremely well is get Pukki to play on the last shoulder of the defender and then both Buendia and Cantwell cut inside to support him and slot balls behind defenses to run onto. Norwich’s defensive deficiencies are clear for all to see. They have conceded the second-highest number of goals in the Premier League this season down to poor defending but also because they take a lot of risks in midfield and push both full backs forward. That is just the way Norwich play and they are exciting to watch. Farke didn’t alter his tactics at all following their promotion campaign in 2018-19 and they have stayed true to his philosophy. If they can manage to stay up this season, they will be able to improve their squad in certain areas.

Possible XI (4-2-3-1)

----- Krul -----

--- Aarons --- Hanley --- Godfrey --- Lewis ---

---- Tettey ---- McLean ----

--- Buendia --- Duda --- Cantwell ---

----- Pukki -----

Remaining schedule:
Home: Southampton, Everton, Brighton, West Ham, Burnley
Away: Arsenal, Watford, Chelsea, Man City

Predicted finish: Look, they are probably going down. But they will go down with a fight. Beating Man City, Everton and Leicester at home, drawing against Tottenham and giving plenty of defenses headaches, Norwich are tougher to play against than their record suggests. If Pukki can catch fire again, they have a chance but they simply have to improve defensively if they’re going to give themselves a chance of staying up.

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