Norwich’s chances of Premier League survival are not impossible, with eight matches still to play, although time is certainly running out for them to haul themselves off the bottom and out of the relegation zone.
This evening the Canaries host Everton at Carrow Road five days after they were thrashed at home by Southampton and Daniel Farke must be hoping that the additional two days of rest for his team compared to the Toffees will stand in their favour.
Norwich have only three more home games after today and still have to travel to Chelsea and Manchester City (as per TransferMarkt), so we are at a point in the season where wins become imperative and gallant draws aren’t of much benefit.
That is why Farke is defiantly insisting that he will set up his team with an attacking mindset, although his to 4-4-2 from the 4-2-3-1 that he had employed all season did not have the desired effect against Southampton.
With the need for wins growing by the week, though, Football Transfer Tavern predicts that the manager will stick with two up top this evening, with a slight alteration in midfield from last week.
No prizes for guessing that Tim Krul will again be in goals, while Farke’s defensive options are severely limited by the injury absences of Sam Byram, Grant Hanley and Christoph Zimmerman. Even though the Canaries shipped three goals on Friday, they could line up with the same back four of Jamal Lewis, Timm Klose, Ben Godfrey and Max Aarons given the lack of viable alternatives – there wasn’t one defender among their nine substitutes against Southampton.
In midfield, the wide duo of Todd Cantwell and Emiliano Buendia didn’t manage a single shot between them last week but, with a combined tally of six goals and nine assists for the season, their ability to unlock opposition defences will be crucial to Norwich’s hopes of Premier League survival.
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Kenny McLean will likely retain his place in the middle of the park, although there could be a different man alongside him. Tom Trybull was poor on Friday, being dribbled past no fewer than eight times and losing 10 of his 15 duels, so Farke may opt for Alexander Tettey in his place. Marco Stiepermann has returned to training after previously testing positive for coronavirus (as per WhoScored) but this game could come too soon for him.
Farke broke with convention to field a two-man attack last time out, handing Josip Drmic a first Premier League start alongside top scorer Teemu Pukki. Neither man got on the scoresheet but the Canaries’ need for wins should see the same attacking duo being deployed. The manager might also take a punt on youngster Adam Idah, who showed how potent he can be with an FA Cup hat-trick against Preston.
Maybe the 4-4-2 isn’t to everyone’s liking but Norwich need results swiftly and the deployment of as many attacking options as reasonably possible is what they require in their current predicament.
Norwich fans, can you see this being the team chosen by Farke or should he revert to 4-2-3-1? Join in the discussion by commenting below!
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