Liverpool-Norwich City Preview

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Jurgen Klopp is not surprised to see Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United spend with “no limits” and says Liverpool can be successful living within their means.

Champions City forked a British record fee of £100million for Jack Grealish, while Chelsea smashed their club record when they re-signed Romelu Lukaku for a reported £97.5m on Thursday.

United have also splashed the cash with a £76.5m move for Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane is poised to complete a big-money switch to Old Trafford too.

Liverpool, who face promoted Norwich City on Saturday, have recruited Ibrahima Konate from RB, while Virgil van Dijk on Friday followed Alisson, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Fabinho in signing new deals.

“I’m never surprised about the financial power of City, Chelsea or United. I’ve been in the country long enough to know they always find a solution to do these things.

“For us, it’s our way. We keep the team together, that’s important as well. I know it’s not as exciting as signing new players.

“People think that if you don’t sign, you don’t work – that’s not the case. We are constantly thinking short term and long term – what can we do? How will the team look this year and next?”

Daniel Farke, meanwhile, boosted his squad on the eve of the new season by signing PAOK winger Christos Tzolis, who scored 16 goals and provided 10 assists last season.

“I spoke with the coach and he told me the plan and what he will do with me in the team. It’s a very good project for me to sign here,” said Tzolis.

“From the first moment, I was really excited to come here. I said to my agent to sign as fast as possible here. It’s a very good step for me.”

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Norwich City – Teemu Pukki

Teemu Pukki scored 42 per cent of Norwich’s Premier League goals in their last campaign in the competition in 2019-20 (11/26). In fact, since the Finnish striker joined the Canaries in 2018, he’s netted 34 per cent of their total league goals (66/194).

Liverpool – Mohamed Salah

Mohamed Salah has scored in their first Premier League game of the season in the last four campaigns, scoring a hat-trick last season against Leeds United. No player has ever scored on the opening day in five consecutive Premier League seasons.

KEY OPTA FACTS

·This is the fourth time Norwich will face Liverpool in their opening top-flight match of the season, winning none of the previous three (D1 L2), including in their last Premier League season in 2019-20, going down 4-1 at Anfield.

·Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 14 Premier League matches against Norwich (W12 D2), netting 44 goals across those matches (3.1 per game). In their 18 Premier League meetings with Norwich, Liverpool have scored 50 goals at an average of 2.8 per game. The only team to have a higher goals-per-game ratio against an opponent in the competition (min. 15 games) is Man Utd. against Wigan Athletic (50 in 16 games, 3.1 per game).

·Norwich are winless in their first Premier League match of the season in each of their last eight attempts, the longest such ongoing winless run by a current team. Their last opening day win was against Arsenal on the first day of Premier League football in 1992-93.

·Liverpool’s five opening Premier League matches of the season under Jurgen Klopp have seen 29 goals scored in total (19 for, 10 against), with the Reds unbeaten in all five (W4 D1) despite conceding three goals in three of those five games: 4-3 vs Arsenal in 2016-17, 3-3 vs Watford in 2017-18 and 4-3 vs Leeds in 2020-21.

·Norwich lost 27 of their 38 Premier League matches in their last season at top-flight level in 2019-20, finishing bottom of the table and losing their last 10 games consecutively. Only two teams have ever lost more than 10 in a row in the competition: Sunderland between 2003 and 2005 (20) and Aston Villa in 2016 (11).

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