Norwich City-Everton Preview

National Sports

Rafael Benitez provided an update on the “easy and complicated” issue of the James Rodriguez sale to Al-Rayyan as Everton prepare to host Norwich City on Saturday.

The Toffees were crushed 3-0 by Aston Villa last time out but remain in sixth place and they are on a three-game winning streak at Goodison Park.

Indeed, the hosts have lost just one of their last seven home league meetings with the Canaries but Benitez focused on the outgoings as he claimed the decision was to protect the future of the club.

“James (Rodriguez) is a very easy and complicated issue,” Benitez said. “When you had a player in the situation that we had, who could be available for just 50 per cent of games overall, it’s not something we can manage. We have to think about the season, not just two or three games It’s not easy to find good offers when you want. You have to manage the offers when they are there. We couldn’t find the right ones before.

“It’s the right one for him. We have to ensure the long-term future of the club is protected.”

The Everton manager also expects more funds to become available following the sale: I had that conversation yesterday with (chairman) Mr Moshiri. It’s just to be sure we do things the right way, they are very keen to spend the money and improve the team.”

Norwich travel to Goodison Park on an eight-game losing streak on the road and they are rooted to the bottom of the table as the only side without a point this term.

Unsurprisingly, Canaries head coach Daniel Farke is expecting a tough task as they travel north.

“All in all, you have to say, in terms of points, they’ve had quite a good start,” Farke said. “I’m pretty sure it’s a difficult task for us and they will finish in a top position. We will travel pretty respectful but also fully aware that we have a chance.”


Everton – Demarai Gray

No player has scored more Premier League goals for Everton this season than new signing Gray, with his three goals coming from just three shots on target so far. Only in 2018-19 has Gray scored more goals in a single top-flight campaign (4).

Norwich City – Teemu Pukki

Over their last two Premier League seasons, Pukki has scored 46 per cent of Norwich’s Premier League goals (13/28), netting both the Canaries’ goals so far this campaign.


– Everton are averaging 3.6 sequences of 10+ passes per match in the Premier League this season, with only Burnley (2.6) averaging fewer. Under Carlo Ancelotti last season, the Toffees were averaging 10.7 such sequences per game, ranking 10th overall in the competition.

– Norwich City boss Daniel Farke has lost his last 15 Premier League games – this is the longest losing run by a specific manager in English top-flight history.

– Norwich goalkeeper Tim Krul has been on the losing side in 99 of his 198 Premier League appearances. Only three players have ever suffered their first 100 defeats in fewer than 200 games in the competition – forward Steven Fletcher (185), defender Paul Robinson (192) and forward Matthew Jarvis (193).

– After winning three of their first four Premier League meetings with Everton (D1), Norwich have won just two of their subsequent 14 against the Toffees in the competition (D6 L6).

– Everton have lost three of their last four home league games against sides starting the day bottom of the table (W1), including a defeat against Norwich in November 2019. The Toffees had only lost three of their previous 17 league matches at Goodison Park against bottom placed sides before this (W10 D4).

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