The first Premier League game of the 2019/2020 campaign sees Liverpool take on Norwich at Anfield, on Friday night, kicking off at 8:00pm local time. Liverpool registered a colossal amount of points last year, but still finished just shy of securing the title, whereas Norwich are the current Championship winners are return to the Premier League after three seasons out of it.
Home Team: Liverpool
Liverpool won their 6th European Cup trophy in June, which was the least that they deserved after a phenomenal season. They broke all sorts of records, with full-backs getting the most assists, most clean sheets, top scorers in attack, and their best ever points total – that has surpassed all of rival club Manchester United’s points totals when they themselves went on to win the league. Their Champions League run was epic, and summed up by their courageous comeback against Barcelona in the semi-finals.
Now, their main focus will be to capture the league title for the first time in 30 years, and they’ll know they will need to somehow outperform Manchester City who are the favourites once again. Can Liverpool go that one step further? No sides came to Anfield and won last year, so they’ll be expecting a comfortable home win here, despite the absence of Sadio Mane. The likes of Mohammed Salah and Roberto Firmino will be expected to feature.[geot exclude_country="US" ][/geot]
Away Team: Norwich
Norwich manager Daniel Farke has done a stupendous job in his time at Norwich, and perhaps got promoted quicker than he or any ardent Norwich fan would have anticipated. They were consistently the best team in the Championship last year, and they finished the season in true style, winning 10 of their last 14 matches, and remained undefeated during that period, too.
From February to the end of the season, they kept that 1st place position to themselves, and it was only a matter of time before being rewarded with promotion and the Championship winners medal. Top goal scorer Teemu Pukki scored 30 goals across 43 matches last season, and with no new key signings, he is expected to be the difference for Norwich again. This Friday night will be a baptism of fire for him and the rest of his teammates. Can they frustrate Liverpool?
Head to Head
We hope that this meeting can be anywhere near as entertaining as their last one in the 2015/2016 season. Liverpool had won that game 5-4 with a last-minute Adam Lallana goal which sparked wild celebrations from the Liverpool manager. Liverpool tend to be dominant in this fixture, winning 10 of the last 12 fixtures, and not losing once. Norwich’s last victory against Liverpool did come at Anfield back in 1994, but did get a draw there too in the 2015/2016 season and again in 2011. Other Norwich visits have also included 5-0 and 5-1 defeats, so you’ll never know what to expect.
My Predictions and Betting Tips
Liverpool are strong favourites to win at 1/7, with Norwich priced at 16/1 to win, or 13/2 to earn a surprising draw. Liverpool’s pre-season hasn’t hit the heights of last year’s form, but there is no doubt that they should run out comfortable winners here given their talent. However, with it being the first game of the season, I anticipate Norwich will put up a fight.
My score line prediction will be a 2-1 home win for Liverpool at 9/1. Adding Mohammed Salah to score first in a Scorecast will take it to 20/1. Betting on Liverpool to win by a 1-goal margin is at a generous 10/3, which is better odds than them winning by three clear goals (6/5). If you want to back Norwich in some capacity, then they are at 7/1 to score 2+ goals or even to lead the game at half time at 10/1.
Finally, for the tipsters, you can back Mohammed Salah or Divock to start their season with a hat-trick at 14/1 or 16/1 respectively.[geot exclude_country="US" ][/geot] [geot country="US,CA" ]
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