Back to back defeats to West Ham United and Manchester United saw Liverpool slip to the bottom half of the standings and they now desperately need a morale-boosting win. But, with Norwich looking pretty in mid table following the bright start, the Reds will have to work hard to end the barren run.
It would appear as though Liverpool have done a very good job in the summer transfer window, having recruited a host of quality footballers without spending too much money. But, while some of these new players have slotted right in, other have yet to make the desired impact and Brendan Rodgers continues to search for the strongest starting line-up and much needed balance in the side. The reality is that this team have got a lot more potential than they are showing, although it has to be noted that the Reds were quite unfortunate in some of the matches in the opening exchanges. There are no doubts that Philippe Coutinho was sorely missed at Old Trafford and his return could provide much needed boost for Liverpool ahead of the Norwich clash. The manager was able to rest almost entire starting line-up in the midweek draw with Bordeaux and his decision to leave his star players out is enough to suggest that the game against Canaries is a must-win for the hosts. The expected return of Daniel Sturridge should also improve the spirits at Anfield and we can see the Reds returning to winning ways on Sunday afternoon. Jordan Henderson, however, is out having broken a bone in his foot.
Norwich did well to return to the elite division after spending just one year in the Championship and they quickly proved they will be no pushovers. With the majority of players already boasting Premier League experience, the Canaries did not require a major squad overhaul, although they made sure to reinforce their ranks with Graham Dorrans, Robbie Brady, Youssouf Mulumbu and Dieumerci Mbokani, among others. Alex Neil’s charges did suffer a 3-1 loss at home to Crystal Palace in their opening fixture, but have since showed a great deal of improvement, taking seven points from next four matches, while also winning the League Cup clash with Rotheram United. However, it has to be noted that while they did well against bottom table sides, Norwich were heavily beaten in the only game against a top 10 team and this is enough to suggest that they will struggle to match star-studded Liverpool side. The visitors will have Steven Whittaker back from suspension, but Andre Wisdom is ineligible to face his parent club and Gary Hooper and Youssouf Mulumbu continue to miss out.
Liverpool have been far from impressive so far, but with Coutinho and Sturridge returning, the Reds are in a good position to kick-start their season. Meanwhile, the 3-0 loss to Southampton showed that Norwich lack the quality to match England’s top sides and we cannot see them getting anything from Anfield.
Verdict: Home win
Best Odds: 2/3
Bookmaker: William Hill