Norwich City vs Liverpool: Reds aim to continue hot-streak against Canaries

Liverpool will be hoping to hit the ground running in their Premier League opener against newly promoted Norwich, whose track record against the 2019/20 champions makes for frightful reading.

When: Saturday, August 14, 5.30pm GMT

How to watch: Sky Sports Main Event

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With the pressure of being Premier League champions now off, Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool return to Premier League action with a trip to Carrow Road to face Norwich, led by compatriot, Daniel Farke.

With both German bosses demanding a high intensity from their sides, we could be treated to a Saturday evening classic.

Last season, Klopp's side started brightly before a series of injuries, notably to defensive duo Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, put an end to their title charge.

A dismal period followed around Christmas, but Liverpool rallied late on to secure third place and, vitally, Champions League qualification.

Now with crucial players returning from injury, we could see Liverpool return to the scintillating form that helped them dominate in 2019/20.

As for Norwich, the Canaries enjoyed a hugely successful Championship-winning campaign last time out, and will be simply hoping to retain their top-flight status.

Admittedly, an opening game against Liverpool is as tough as they come in terms of getting back to grips in the Premier League, but it also provides Norwich with a chance to make a statement of intent.

Last three matches

Norwich City 0-1 Liverpool (Premier League - February 15, 2020)

The last time the sides met, it was a case of first against last in the Premier League.

Klopp's men were well on their way to a first Premier League title in 30 years, while Farke's Norwich were  struggling at the foot of the table - it only ever seemed like it was going to go one way.

But while many anticipated an easy night for the soon-to-be champions, it proved to be anything but as Norwich came close to taking the lead through Teemu Pukki before a remarkable recovery from Alisson denied him the opener.

While Norwich had frequently come under fire for leaking goals, they remained stubborn in defence and entered half-time with the deadlock intact.

As Liverpool continued to pile on the pressure, they eventually found the breakthrough via Sadio Mane, who was brought on from the bench. A superb first touch allowed him to fire in a low-driven strike to hand Liverpool all three points.

Liverpool 4-1 Norwich City (Premier League - August 9, 2019)

Saturday won't be the first time the sides have met on the opening day of a Premier League season, but Norwich will be hoping to avoid a similar fate this time around.

Once again a newly promoted side, Norwich were swept away by the pace of Liverpool, as the Reds made their title intentions clear.

An own goal by Grant Hanley inside 10 minutes was a sign of things to come. Mohamed Salah wasted no time in opening his season's scoring account and neatly finished past Tim Krul to double the lead.

With no response to Liverpool's relentless pressure, Norwich continued to struggle, and Van Dijk headed in from a corner to make it 3-0 before 30 minutes had even passed.

Klopp's side continued to run riot and Divock Origi headed in Liverpool's fourth to hand his side a 4-0 lead heading into the break.

A second-half consolation from Pukki handed Norwich their first goal back in the top flight and they were just glad to escape without further punishment.

Norwich City 4-5 Liverpool (Premier League - January 23, 2016)

Neutrals will be hoping for a similar scoreline on Saturday.

Roberto Firmino dented Norwich's survival hopes with an early goal, but they fired back via Dieumerci Mbokani and then took the lead when former Everton forward Steven Naismith scored on his debut.

A chaotic second half ensued, starting with a Norwich penalty which was coolly converted by Wes Hoolahan.

Seconds later, Jordan Henderson equalised, before Firmino and James Milner put Liverpool 4-3 up.

Sebastien Bassong netted a suburb equaliser in injury time to give Norwich fans hope of a point, but Adam Lallana's last-gasp winner capped off a dramatic affair at Carrow Road.

Last ten head-to-head games

Liverpool wins: 8

Draws: 2

Norwich wins: 0

Liverpool goals: 33

Norwich goals: 12

Norwich's bogey team

As Norwich re-enter the top flight, it's vital they hit the ground running and amass points early on. Therefore it probably didn't make great reading for Canaries fans to see that Liverpool were up first.

Norwich have failed to beat Liverpool since 1994, leaving them on a 14-game winless streak against the Merseyside team.

Between 2012 and 2013, Norwich conceded 18 goals in four games against Liverpool, and conceded five on three consecutive occasions.

Liverpool's defensive reinforcement will help title challenge

After a disappointing title defence last season, Liverpool were quick to acquire the services of RB Leipzig's Ibrahima Konate this summer.

With Van Dijk and Gomez slowly returning from serious injuries, Konate could play a pivotal role in Liverpool's season as they look to mount a title challenge.

In their absence, Klopp was forced into fielding a number of makeshift backlines last season, ocassionally fielding the likes of Fabinho and Henderson at the heart of defence.

But without their creative engines, Liverpool's usually-lethal front three of Salah, Firmino and Mane lacked their usual service - something that should be rectified with the return of a defensive foundation.

Goalscorer bets

One man to watch is Sadio Mane. The Senegalese forward endured a disappointing campaign in 2020/21 and looked a shadow of his former self.

But Mane looks as though he is returning with a vengeance and has stood out in Liverpool's pre-season, top-scoring.

With competition for a starting spot increased, the forward looks to be relishing the challenge and we're backing him to score anytime on Saturday.

READ MORE: Premier League preview 2021/22: Back Fernandes and Ings in the race to 10 goals

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