The Premier League season is finally back! Yes folks, for the first time since mid-May, the games count for real once again. The EPL is undoubtedly the most popular and accessible domestic soccer league in North America, mainly due to the fascinating drama and exciting style of play the league has consistently produced.
To kick things off we will head to Anfield, the home of last year’s runners-up, Liverpool. The Reds under Jurgen Klopp produced a magical season, one that likely would’ve been good enough to win a title in any other season. Unfortunately they ran into the buzzsaw that was Manchester City, who simultaneously put together a historic season. This year, the Reds know the margin for error is slim to none and getting their campaign off to a flying start on Friday will be crucial to long-term success.
Entering the hostile atmosphere, perhaps as nothing more than a sacrificial lamb will be newly promoted Norwich City. The Canaries actually won the Championship in 2018-19 earning their spot to the Premier League. Norwich put together a questionable transfer season, failing to really bolster their squad and prepare the group to face the added rigors of the top flight. It remains to be seen how they’ll play and how they will fare as a result. Facing one of the league’s scariest offenses in their first game in the Premier League has the potential for disaster.
Can Liverpool easily handle last year’s Championship winners in Norwich City? Or will the pesky Canaries prove worthy opposition? Despite the mismatch, the Premier League is back for the next nine months. Read on below the odds for a match breakdown and a betting prediction.
Liverpool vs. Norwich City Betting Odds:
Norwich City (+1850)
Over 3.5 (-108)
Under 3.5 (-112)
Liverpool -2 (-150)
Norwich City +2 (+130)
Liverpool vs. Norwich City Pick:
With so much attention within the footballing world squarely focused on Anfield and on Liverpool, look for the Reds to put on another fine display of their talented brand of soccer. They’ll be on a mission from the first matchday to end their Premier League title drought, and unfortunately for the lowly Canaries – they are the unfortunate side that stands in the way.
Liverpool are expected to be back at full strength and should look even better than they did last Sunday against Manchester City in the Community Shield. This includes getting back Sadio Mane into the fold as the talented Senegalese striker has made himself available for the match following a busy summer. He’ll be joined in attack by the likes of Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino. That trio should absolutely wreak havoc on an untested and unproven Norwich City back-line. The speed of Mane should create all kinds of finishing space for Salah, and he should be counted upon to find the back of the net in this fixture.
For Norwich, they don’t have the same depth as their opponents on Friday evening and unfortunately are already dealing with a bit of an injury crisis heading into the Premier League season. Daniel Farke’s side will be without centre-back Christoph Zimmerman most crucially, and this should make shutting down the Liverpool tack even more difficult.
Norwich City typically play an attacking game, and much of their strength within the squad is concentrated in their skill up front. Teemu Pukki was the Championship’s top goal-scorer last season, but he will be very likely shut down by Liverpool’s improved defense – led by the beastly Virgil van Dijk.
This really shouldn’t be all that close of a match. Norwich will head to Anfield content to be there, but those feelings should dissipate after the first few minutes. The Canaries aren’t used to sitting back and playing defensively and if they stick with the tactics they employed last season – it’ll only play right into the hands of Liverpool and their speed on the break. Though laying juice on a -2 goal-line might seem steep, the Reds are insistent on sending a message on the first matchday and should be able to blow the Canaries right out of Anfield. A three-goal victory seems the likely margin for Friday’s curtain-raiser.