By 90Min
August 06, 2019

Norwich City will kick-off their first Premier League campaign in three seasons with a trip to Liverpool on Friday.

Ask any Canaries fan whether they'd thought Norwich would be here this time last year, they probably would have said no. Norwich had seemed to have regressed into a mid-table Championship side under the stewardship of Daniel Farke, but the German repaid the club's faith in him by leading them to a somewhat unexpected promotion.  

Here's everything you need to ahead of Norwich's return to the top flight...


Last Season

Matthew Lewis/GettyImages

2018/19 is a season that will live long in the memory of Norwich fans, as Farke led his youthful side to the Championship title, all the while playing an attractive brand of football. 

Funnily enough, the season started with the fans calling for Farke's head. The Canaries had won just one of their first five games and found themselves in 17th. Norwich fans, already frustrated with the underwhelming season they had before, were fearful of having another one wasted. 

Norwich quickly discovered form, however, and the Canaries found themselves in the promotion places by Christmas.  


They were competing with Leeds United and Sheffield United for first place for much of the season, but it always seemed like Norwich were going to prevail, and they did, going unbeaten in their last 14 games to secure the Championship title in emphatic fashion. 


Transfers In

Stephen Pond/GettyImages

Compared to their fellow promoted sides, Sheffield United and Aston Villa, Norwich have had a relatively quiet transfer window. 

While most of their signings were youth players, they did sign some experience in Josip Drmić and Ralf Fährmann, both of whom have spent the majority of their careers in the Bundesliga


Striker Drmić was signed from Borussia Mönchengladbach on a free transfer. The Swiss international has struggled with many injuries over the last few seasons which has restricted him to just 41 appearances for Gladbach over the last four years. There is no doubt over his quality, and it is hoped he can resurrect his career at Carrow Road just as Teemu Pukki did last season.  


Fährmann has been signed on a season-long loan from Schalke, where he was the number one goalkeeper for many years. He lost his place to Alexander Nübel amid injuries last season but with a wealth of experience at a high level, the German could prove to be an invaluable asset this season. 

Other notable acquisitions include Manchester City's Patrick Roberts on loan and West Ham United's Sam Byram on a permanent deal. Both should add quality in depth for a Norwich side preparing for the Premier League


Transfers Out

Dan Istitene/GettyImages

Norwich have had a clear-out of deadwood from their less successful days in the Championship, with no less than seven first-team players either getting sold or being released.

This includes Yanic Wildschut, Marcel Franke, Ivo Pinto, Nélson Oliveira, and Ben Marshall. Steven Naismith and Matt Jarvis, who both played for Norwich when they were last in the Premier League, were released by the club. 


Strengths

Stephen Pond/GettyImages

With Norwich scoring a whopping 93 goals in the Championship last season, it is obvious where their strengths lie. 

The attacking foursome of Emi Buendía and Onel Hernández on the wings with Marco Stiepermann playing in an attacking midfield role behind striker Teemu Pukki - proved deadly last season, scoring 53 goals between them. Mario Vrančić also made a fair goalscoring contribution, hitting the back of the net on ten occasions last term. 


Drmić adds more quality and to this attack and could prove to be a key player in Norwich's campaign to avoid relegation if he stays fit.  


Weaknesses 

Stephen Pond/GettyImages

Out of all their players, only five have played in the Premier League before. 

Tim Krul has a wealth of experience in this league but hasn't played there in nearly four years, Grant Hanley hasn't played in the Premier League since 2011/12, Alexander Tettey since 2015/16, while Sam Byram and Patrick Roberts have only made a few appearances. The majority of these guys probably won't be starters, either. 

In other words, Norwich lack Premier League experience and that might just well be their downfall. Their youthful defence may also have a tough time against world-class strikers and wingers and ideally, they would need more experience in this area.  


Key Man

Stephen Pond/GettyImages

To say Teemu Pukki was the surprise package of last season would be an understatement.

Never really prolific, the Finnish striker was on the books with Sevilla as a youngster, before returning to his homeland with HJK Helsinki. His form back home caught the attention of Schalke, where he struggled for goals. A move to Celtic followed two years later, but he struggled there as well. 

He returned to Scandinavia with a move to Danish side Brøndby. It took him a couple of years to find his form, scoring a total of 55 goals in his four years with Drengene fra vestegnen. 

His move to Carrow Road in the summer of 2018 raised some eyebrows but he hit the form of his life, scoring 29 goals in 43 games to collect the Championship golden boot. 

Pukki will need to retain his goalscoring touch in the Premier League as Norwich look to avoid relegation. He'll be hoping to have a Grant Holt-like first season and surprise again by becoming prolific at this level. 


Predictions

Stephen Pond/GettyImages

If the Canaries manage to survive by finishing 17th on goal difference, Farke will probably regard that as a successful season. Norwich will need to transition back into the top-flight and this could well be a long, tough, season for the side. 

They will be conscious that they need to hit the ground running if they are to avoid being dragged into a relegation dogfight but their opening five fixtures do them no favours, with the Canaries facing LiverpoolChelsea and Manchester City. 


Despite this, don't expect Norwich go down easily. They've retained the core of their team which, as history proves, is crucial for a newly-promoted side. 

You May Like

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)