Liverpool v Norwich: Canaries can stay competitive at Anfield

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LIVERPOOL take on promoted Norwich as the Premier League gets underway on Friday night from Anfield. We asked Tom Love (@TomLove_18) to source the best bets.

Liverpool v Norwich | Friday 9th August 2019, 20:00 | Sky Sports

It was quite remarkable last season; Liverpool probably had their best-ever domestic campaign yet still failed to win the title. Jurgen Klopp will surely be looking to go one step better and bring that long awaited championship to Anfield this time around.

Business has been subdued at Melwood over the summer with two youngsters in Sepp Van Der Berg and Harvey Elliot coming in as ones for the future whereas Adrian has come in as a back up to Allison.

The Reds' main forward trio of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino have not had much let up after their impressive (but long season) last time around with off-season international tournaments. Some are suggesting that they might not have the fitness levels to keep up optimum performance levels throughout the campaign and it’s an interesting argument.

However, Liverpool clearly managed to cope on two fronts last season winning the Champions League and bringing the title race right down to the final day of the season. It was in some way down to a tweak in approach from Klopp from the intense attacking press of the previous couple of years to a slightly more withdrawn style with a greater focus on keeping clean sheets. The Merseysiders were able to rely on their decisive attackers to do the damage at the other end.

Mane only returned last week and may be given a few more weeks rest with Divock Origi likely to step in. Salah was very lively in the Community Shield last week – getting no fewer than 10 shots off – and the Reds will be placing lot of their faith in him to take more of the mantle in the absence of Mane.

No fear from Norwich

Premier League new boys Norwich are the visitors to Anfield after finishing top of the tree in the Championship last season and boss Daniel Farke has decided to keep largely with the team that made that happen.

It’s a club that has took a fresh approach in the last couple of years. Stuart Webber came in as sporting director and a month later they appointed the German as head coach. The pair have worked in tandem to great success in Norfolk, creating a unique ethos at the club which has brought everyone together.

Farke has used his contacts in Germany to help bring in talented players for relatively low fees and managed to make them gel into a free flowing, cohesive unit. It helps that youth products have stepped up and impressed too – full backs Max Aarons and Jamal Lewis provided effervescent energy down the flanks as well as strong crossing skills.

Central midfielder-turn centre half Ben Godfrey was immense when he had to slot in and therefore kept his place alongside Christoph Zimmerman at the heart of the back four.

This summer they’ve brought in Josip Drmic to add strength in depth up front, somewhat of a Bundesliga journeyman he could be the next to find a home at Carrow Road. Patrick Roberts has come in from Manchester City and has shown great potential in pre-season, he could add some X factor to the ranks. Ralf Fahrmann comes in from Schalke to provide competition to Tim Krul too.

Norwich played attacking football last season and were involved in a lot of goal-heavy games. Whether their approach is tweaked going up a league remains to be seen but I’m confident the Canaries can be competitive as they head to Anfield.

Canaries can stay competitive

If there’s any time to get against Liverpool it probably is in the early stages of the campaign. After the marathon season last time and key players been on the international scene this summer they could be a bit undercooked. Pre-season wasn’t the finest for the Reds and although they looked a bit more lively last week I feel their skinny quotes of 1/7 are too prohibitive to get involved with.

Naturally, when a game is priced up like this it’s always of interest to venture into the Asian Handicap market and see where the line is set. To get close to even-money you’d have to back Liverpool with a -2.25 start and it’s not something that looks particularly attractive.

However, on the flip side of that we can back the visitors with a +2.5 start at 10/13 with BetVictor and that looks a fair price. I’d personally have this as a flat two line on the Asian markets given we have no real form to go off. This bet would see us take a full stakes win should Norwich win, draw, lose by one or lose by two. The only way we lose is if Liverpool win by three or more goals, which does seem a high barrier to break.

Take a look at Tackles

I’ll also dip into the player Tackles market and one stood out for me. We can get 10/11 with SkyBet on Jamal Lewis to complete 2+ tackles and I’m surprised by that price. He will be up against Salah and Trent Alexander-Arnold on that side and could have his hands full.

Liverpool attacked heavily down their right flank last week and we could see a similar approach here and if so the young full back should have plenty of chances to make some challenges.

Lewis averaged 1.70 tackles last season but that was when Norwich were in the ascendancy in most games and therefore not as much defending was done. It will be a different story here with them likely to be pinned in and given Aarons on the other side is 8/11 to complete 2+ tackles despite averaging less than Lewis last season, we could’ve found some value.

Best Bets

Liverpool v Norwich – Norwich +2.5 Asian Handicap (10/13 BetVictor)

Liverpool v Norwich – Jamal Lewis to complete 2+ tackles (10/11 SkyBet)

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