The new Premier League season kicks off with a match between two teams likely to find themselves competing at opposition ends of the table when Liverpool host Norwich at Anfield on Friday (8pm live on Sky Sports).
Norwich are back in the top flight after a three-year absence and have survival as their primary goal. Liverpool ran Manchester City very close in last season’s title race only to lose out by a single point, and they will again seek to challenge at the top this time around. The bookies expect this season to be déjà vu as they make Liverpool second-favourites behind Man City in their Premier League outright winner betting market.
Liverpool made short work of teams in the bottom half of the table last season, winning all 20 of their home and away matches against those teams, scoring three or more goals on 13 occasions and four or more on seven. That was one of their main improvements from the previous campaign, when they had dropped points five times against those teams.
Jurgen Klopp and his players will know that similar ruthlessness will be required this season if they are to contend with an all-conquering (at least on a domestic level) Man City team seeking a third consecutive league title. At the end of the campaign, it will 30 years since Liverpool last lifted the trophy. An anniversary triumph would be most welcome.
At time of writing, the free transfer signing of backup goalkeeper Adrian is the only addition Liverpool have made to their senior squad this summer, although they may yet do some further business prior to Thursday’s transfer deadline. It will, though, be the same core group of key players who will take the fight to City.
Liverpool and Man City actually met in the Community Shield on Sunday, with both teams putting out pretty strong lineups. City took an early lead when Alisson was unable to keep out a close-range effort, but Liverpool came on strong during the second half and eventually got an equaliser when Joel Matip headed home from inside the six-yard box following a set-piece. That took the encounter to penalties, where City triumphed.
The result wasn’t of any great importance in the grand scheme of things, but after a slightly uncertain set of pre-season performances, Klopp took heart from his side’s display and the fitness levels they showed in pushing on after the break. He seemed confident that they will begin the Premier League season in good nick.
Norwich will be their first opponents after achieving promotion as champions of the Championship. They played open and attractive football, with their matches averaging more goals (3.26) than those of any other promoted side over the last 10 years. After an inconsistent first season under Daniel Farke, everything came together in the second.
The impression from the outside is that Norwich have a clearly defined approach that filters down from the sporting director Stuart Webber to the coach and players. They have not spent big. Fulham did, unsuccessfully, upon promotion last summer, and Aston Villa have this time around. Norwich will largely lean on the group that got them promoted (many of whom signed new contracts this summer), with a few cheap additions here and there.
It will be interesting to see to what degree they will be able to maintain their style of play in the top flight. There was a clear difference in the way they approached home and away matches last season, with their home matches averaging 3.70 goals and their away fixtures almost a goal less, at 2.83. A more consistent use of that slightly cautious away approach might just be how they intend to bridge the gap between the divisions.
Liverpool away at Anfield is not a kind opening fixture, and Norwich also have encounters with Chelsea and Manchester City to come in two of their following four matches. There will be little chance for them to bed in and get some early points on the board. How they react thereafter is likely to go a long way towards determining how their season will pan out.
Liverpool are heavily favoured with the best online bookmakers to begin their campaign with victory on Friday, and in truth it is difficult to make much of an argument in Norwich’s favour.
While they may struggle to contain Mohamed Salah et al, Norwich did show themselves to carry a strong attacking threat in the second tier, enough to think they have a chance of getting on the scoresheet. A Liverpool win in a match in which both teams score looks a solid play.
Our Preview’s Liverpool vs Norwich Betting Tips Verdict
- Bet on Liverpool to win in a game in which both teams score (on the “match result & both teams to score” market) @ 15/8 with Bet365.
Compare Liverpool vs Norwich Match Betting Odds from Top Bookies