Time is swiftly running out on Norwich’s hopes of Premier League survival, with seven points separating them from 17th place with only six matches remaining.
Three league defeats without even a goal to their name have left Daniel Farke’s men staring down the barrel of relegation as they begin a three-match sequence against teams in the bottom six with today’s home clash against Brighton.
The Canaries have already lost three times in all competitions at Carrow Road since football resumed last month and, while they were valiantly beaten by Manchester United in the FA Cup last weekend, it’s points and not plaudits that they need, and a similar result at home to the 15th-placed Seagulls would hardly be met kindly by the Norfolk faithful.
Farke can at least welcome Timm Klose back from suspenstion for today’s clash, although he remains without several other defenders due to injury (as per WhoScored).
While his deployment of 4-4-2 did not work against Southampton, the Canaries are at a stage where draws are of little use to them, so the manager may need to go with a bold formation for the match against Brighton. Our predicted Norwich XI for today’s encounter shows three changes in personnel from the team that began the 4-0 loss at Arsenal on Wednesday, albeit with a tactical reshuffle:
Tim Krul will keep his place between the sticks, with the full-back duo of Jamal Lewis and Max Aarons also near-certain to start. The same can be said for Ben Godfrey at centre-back and Klose looks set to come in alongside him now that he has served his suspension, particular with Norwich’s central defensive options so limited.
Farke could ring the changes in midfield, though, and perhaps tweak its composition to provide a more offensively-minded approach. Alexander Tettey, who filled in for Klose at centre-back on Wednesday, should revert to a midfield role, his defensive attributes potentially key in providing a balance to the other, more attack-minded personnel in the middle of the park.
Norwich will likely need creativity from the flanks and that should see Todd Cantwell and Emiliano Buendia keep their places. There could also be a start for Ondrej Duda as an attacking midfielder, while Marco Stiepermann is also pushing for that role, with Lukas Rupp, Tom Trybull and Kenny McLean all dropping out from the team that started at the Emirates Stadium.
The desperate need for goals and wins should persuade Farke to go with two strikers. Teemu Pukki may be on a barren streak but, as he showed earlier in the season, he can be hugely prolific when he gets on a run. Adam Idah, who came on at half-time against the Gunners and had one of his team’s two shots on target, is perhaps worth a punt in the starting line-up, although the more experienced Josip Drmic may be preferred as a strike partner to Pukki.
Should Adam Idah start for Norwich against Brighton?
Nothing that Farke has tried recently has gone to plan; the time could be right for a bold change of approach as Norwich’s leeway in the hunt for Premier League survival decreases by the week.
Norwich fans, should Farke go with two strikers against Brighton? Is this the team that you would pick for today’s clash? Join in the discussion by commenting below!
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