Norwich City-Manchester City Preview

National Sports

Norwich City head coach Daniel Farke is relishing the challenge against Manchester City and believes his side “can hurt the best teams in the world.”

The visitors did not get off to an ideal start back in the Premier League, losing 3-0 at home to Liverpool in their opener.

The Canaries have now lost their last 11 top-flight fixtures, failing to score in 10 out of those 11 games.

However, Farke remains optimistic that his squad can compete with the Premier League’s best.

“(Manchester City and Liverpool) are two of the toughest games in world football,” the German head coach said. “We wanted these games. We enjoy these games.

“If we are at our best, we can hurt the best teams in the world. We know this.

“We are highly motivated for these games, but they will not define our season. We want to play with bravery and courage. We know we are not the favourite, but we want to grind out a performance and a result.”

The reigning champions campaign also started poorly, Tottenham securing a 1-0 win amid ongoing Harry Kane speculation between the two clubs.

Prior to Saturday’s clash, Pep Guardiola found time to praise his opposite number Farke, who he feels is an “exceptional manager.”

“The year in the Premier League (Norwich) didn’t get results but they played really good,” Guardiola said. “We are going to play a good team with a good proposal of how they play.

“If we win it will be good, if we win it won’t be good. The result is important but we have to see the team growing.”

The Spanish manager provided an update on Phil Foden, Kevin De Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan, too.

Foden will not be ready in time for Norwich, while De Bruyne faces a late fitness test – Gundogan the only one of the trio definitely fit.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Manchester City – Kevin de Bruyne

The hosts are sweating on De Bruyne’s fitness but he could feature. He has been directly involved in five goals in four appearances against Norwich in all competitions (3 goals, 2 assists), scoring or assisting every 45 minutes against the Canaries.

Norwich City – Billy Gilmour

Billy Gilmour could be the key to challenging Guardiola’s depth of midfield talent. Against Liverpool, the loanee completed a team-high 68 passes and looked competent on the ball throughout.

KEY OPTA FACTS

·Manchester City have won their last three home Premier League games against Norwich City by an aggregate score of 14-1, winning 5-0 in the most recent league meeting at the Etihad in July 2020.

·In all competitions, Norwich City have won just two of their last 31 visits to Manchester City (D7 L22), winning 2-1 in September 1997 and 3-2 in May 2013.

·The reigning champions have lost just two of their last 58 home Premier League games against newly promoted teams (W48 D8), although Liverpool did so in the last such match against Fulham in March last season. Only one of the last 39 reigning top-flight champions have lost their first home league match of the season (W29 D9), with Chelsea losing 3-2 to Burnley in 2017-18.

·Manchester City lost three of their final five home Premier League games in the 2020-21 season (W2), and also lost their first home league match last season 5-2 against Leicester City. The Citizens haven’t lost their opening home league match in consecutive seasons since losing against Oldham Athletic in 1988-89 and Southampton in 1989-90.

·In the Premier League era, the winners of the previous season’s second tier title have won away from home against the reigning top-flight champions only once (D4 L24), with Bournemouth defeating Chelsea 1-0 in the 2015-16 season with a goal from Glenn Murray.

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