Friday, September 13, 2019

Norwich and Manchester City are the Premier League's top entertainers this season, producing 33 goals in just eight games between them.

he Canaries will take on their third 'big-six' opponents this season on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Premier League, when reigning champions Manchester City visit Carrow Road. On paper, this fixture oozes goals.

City have maintained their free-scoring antics from last term with a league-topping 14 goals to date, but Norwich also rank impressively in fifth with six goals - level with Arsenal, Chelsea and Leicester.

Sergio Aguero tops the scoring chart with six to his name, followed by team-mate Raheem Sterling on five - who is level with Norwich striker Teemu Pukki.

At the other end of the pitch, City are also watertight with three conceded - only Crystal Palace have shipped fewer. But the same cannot be said for Daniel Farke's side, who have conceded a league-high 10 so far.

The Canaries' tough opening schedule undoubtedly exaggerates signs of defensive frailties, but Farke is likely stick to his attacking principles in an unchanged 4-2-3-1 this weekend against the league's most prolific finishers.

Playing style

The Canaries set out their stall in the season-opening 4-1 defeat at Liverpool, taking the game to the European champions with glimpses of promise - primarily advanced full-backs, progressive play and Pukki's potency in front of goal.

Speaking after that game, Gary Neville said: "Norwich were bright, inventive and tried to play the right way. Teemu Pukki scoring was a big moment for Norwich City to give the fans something to go home on."

Indeed, Pukki's goal proved catalytic in the early weeks, proceeding to score a match-winning hat-trick against Newcastle and grabbing another in the 3-2 defeat to Chelsea, before his goal streak ended at West Ham last weekend.

Against Chelsea, Farke's undeterred attacking style against 'big-six' opposition was reinforced, piling forwards to level the scores on two occasions before Tammy Abraham secured three points for the visitors.

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David vs Goliath

The David vs Goliath analogy has become a cliche to describe newly-promoted sides facing Pep Guardiola's free-scoring juggernauts in recent campaigns. It is easy to see why.

In addition to City's back-to-back titles and plethora of smashed records, newly-promoted teams have only collected four points out of a possible 54 against City during Guardiola's reign - the most recent being Wolves in August last year.

And then there is the cash. Compared with previous transfer windows, City spent a comparatively modest £135m on signings this summer - but that is still 123 times the £1.1m spent by the Norfolk club.

But can Norwich make it third time lucky against 'big-six' opponents and pack a punch against the biggest giant?


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