Pre-Season Preview: Norwich City


After winning promotion back to the Premier League last season, Norwich City fans will be eagerly anticipating their return to the top-flight.

The Canaries surprised many people last season by not only winning promotion but by winning the Sky Bet Championship.

Having been predicted a season of mid-table mediocrity by the bookmakers, or an outside bet for the play-offs at best, the players bought into German boss Daniel Farke’s ideology and it proved an immense success as the East Anglian side finished eleven points ahead of third-placed Leeds United.

In his debut season at Carrow Road after signing on a free transfer from Brondby, Teemu Pukki ended up as an extreme coup for the Canaries. The 29-year-old found the net 30 times during the Championship campaign; Mario Vranic, Onel Hernandez, Jordan Rhodes and Emiliano Buendia all added eight goals to Norwich’s total tally for the season.


Norwich City have been fairly active this transfer window; although, the majority of their dealings have involved temporary departures with Farke keen to rely on his Championship stars in their Premier League return.

The Canaries have added Josip Drmic and Sam Byram on permanent deals from Borussia Monchengladbach and West Ham respectively; Patrick Roberts and Ralf Fahrmann join on loan deals from Manchester City and Schalke.

Heading out the door of Carrow Road on loan moves are Carlton Morris (Rotherham), Ivo Pinto (Dinamo Zagreb), Mason Bloomfield (Crawley), Sean Raggett (Portsmouth), Anthony Spyrou (Chesterfield) and James Husband (Blackpool). Marcel Franke joined Hannover 96 on an undisclosed fee.


City open their Premier League campaign at Anfield on the 9th August against Liverpool.

In stark contrast to last season, when Farke’s side took on one of last season’s relegation favourites, Birmingham City, the Canaries instead face one of Europe’s most attacking sides.

City supporters will be keen to avoid defeats as embarrassing as two of their previous three visits to Anfield when they lost 5-1 (2013-14) and 5-0 (2012-13) – the Canaries drew 1-1 on Merseyside on their most recent visit in the 2015-16 season.

The Canaries then have a slightly easier fixture against Steve Bruce’s Newcastle United before Chelsea visit Carrow Road. City will then head to West Ham before hosting reigning champions Manchester City preceding a trip to Turf Moor to face Burnley.

Farke’s side have certainly been dealt a difficult start to life back in the top-flight. Safety is not secured in August and early September; however, the Canaries will need to pick up points quickly in order to avoid falling into an early trap.


Ahead of the season, boss Daniel Farke faces a selection dilemma with many of his players providing performances which warrant starting on the opening day at Anfield.

“I am totally pleased with our keepers. They have been very good in pre-season,” said Farke to Pink Un.

“I have two top class keepers and I would say a third in Michael McGovern. We have a decision to make and I will do that in the next few days but whoever starts at Liverpool I will tell them first. I don’t think there are many clubs even at this level who have such quality in goal.


For a team not expected to be promoted, high on the list of targets for Norwich will be securing survival. The Canaries have endured a love-hate relationship with the Premier League having been relegated in four out of City’s six seasons in the top-flight.

The Norfolk-based side are second-favourites to be relegated immediately from the Premier League; however, the Canaries could shock a few for a second consecutive season and with various factors going in their favour, along with the ongoing issues at Newcastle United, City could find themselves fight off relegation.

Expected starting XI

Ralf Fahrmann, Philip Heise, Grant Hanley, Ben Godfrey, Sam Byram, Tom Trybull, Marco Stiepermann, Emi Buendia, Onel Hernandez, Patrick Roberts, Teemu Pukki.


About Author

When not busy covering local news for EssexLive, Matt Lee can be found in the press box at Portman Road covering Ipswich Town's return to the Championship and push for the Premier League.

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