Six points adrift of 17th with eight matches left to play, Norwich’s Premier League survival hopes are still intact but time could soon be running out on their top-flight status.
Last Friday’s home clash against Southampton offered them a chance to pile the pressure on the teams immediately ahead of them but instead they gave a feeble display in losing 0-3 at Carrow Road and ended up being grateful that West Ham, Bournemouth and Aston Villa all subsequently lost.
While nobody in Daniel Farke’s team had a game to remember, it was a particularly off-colour evening for Emiliano Buendia, whose damning statistics from the Saints defeat encapsulated how poor Norwich were as a whole that day.
The winger failed to register a shot in the whole game and completed just 20 of his 35 passes, while only two of his 10 crosses found a team-mate and he came out second best in 14 of his 23 duels. Perhaps the most glaring indictment of the 23-year-old’s performance, though, was that he lost possession no fewer than 31 times – the most of anyone who featured in the match. [via Sofascore]
Buendia has been a hugely valuable contributor to Norwich’s attacking play this season, with his tally of seven assists by far the highest in Farke’s squad. However, having scored eight times in the Canaries’ promotion-winning 2018/19 campaign, the Argentine still hasn’t found the net this term, a very surprising statistic given how brilliant he has been as a creative source.
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The winger has the highest average WhoScored match rating of any Norwich player in 2019/20 and, as per the same source, has been man of the match more often than any of his team-mates. Indeed, he was even reported to have attracted the interest of runaway league leaders Liverpool in January, according to The Athletic.
Jurgen Klopp’s champions-elect were unable to find a route to goal against Everton on Sunday. If Norwich are to have any hope of succeeding in that mission tomorrow, and indeed in their subsequent seven games as they battle for their Premier League lives, they need to see Buendia at his best rather than the ineffective and wasteful version that we witnessed against Southampton.
Norwich fans, how crucial will Buendia be to the Canaries’ fading hopes of beating relegation? Comment below with your views!
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