Who: Norwich City vs Manchester City
When: Saturday, September 14th @ 12:30 pm ET
Line: Norwich +1500 | Draw +750 | Manchester City -670
The champions are currently two points adrift of their main rivals, and will look to build on their 4-0 demolition of Brighton two weeks ago before the international break.
City are seeking their fifth Premier League title in nine seasons.
Norwich vs Manchester City Match Preview
So far, City have been in red hot form scoring 14 goals in the opening four matches of the campaign. Sergio Aguero leads the EPL with six goals. Teammate Raheem Sterling has five, as does Norwich front-man Teemu Pukki.v
After a thumping 5-0 win on the opening day of the Premier League season at West Ham, and a convincing 3-1 victory away at Bournemouth, City have dropped only two points so far this season.
And they can consider themselves unlucky they re not level on points with Liverpool, who have a 100% record, as VAR overruled what appeared to be a late winner in the pulsating 2-2 draw against Tottenham at the Etihad.
Gabriel Jesus believed he had scored in injury time, only for the goal to be disallowed as it was ruled that in the build up Aymeric Laporte had handled the ball, in what was a controversial decision.
Overall, City have averaged 3.5 goals in Premier League games, with a shooting accuracy of 39% with 30 shots on target from 77 attempts.
Predictably from a team managed by Pep Guardiola, the champion’s passing accuracy has reached an impressive 89%, a total of 620 passes per match, highlighting the task that Norwich face.
De Bruyne a boost for City
The form of Kevin De Bruyne has also been a huge positive for City this season. He has supplied five assists and scored the opener in the destruction of Brighton.
The 28-year-old Belgian will be hoping that his good start to the season continues, after an injury ravaged 18/19 season. KdB only made 19 Premier League starts due to successive injuries, including a torn knee ligament in August last year after being hurt in training.
He also sustained another knee ligament problem in the 2-0 win over Fulham in the Carabao Cup after a comeback from that injury last November.
City’s luck with knee injuries so far this season has managed to get worse, with Leroy Sane damaging his cruciate ligament in the Community Shield against Liverpool.
The German international is now set to miss most of this season.
Aymeric Laporte is also set for a prolonged absence after damaging the cartilage and lateral meniscus in his right knee in the Brighton victory. Left-back Benjamin Mendy is still planning his comeback after his own long term knee trouble.
Norwich set for uphill struggle
Norwich City can point to a mixed return to the Premier League after a three year exile in the Championship.
The Canaries came back from a disastrous start after losing 4-1 at Liverpool by smashing Newcastle 3-1 on their top flight home return. Pukki netted a hat trick in the win. The Finnish international has been in fine form in his debut season in the Premier League. He’s carried his goal scoring prowess through the international break, scoring against both Greece and Italy.
The Premier League newcomers also provided a stiff challenge to Frank Lampard’s Chelsea, equalizing twice against the Blues in a frantic first half before Tammy Abraham scored the winner in a narrow 3-2 win.
Norwich have conceded ten goals in four matches. Their defending has been widely criticized, and with City in a rampant mood it would be hard to see past anything other than a routine win for the reigning champions.
Daniel Farke’s side will be hoping though that they can adapt at the highest level against one of the best teams in the world, despite their obvious limited experience.
Yet they have their own injury issues before Saturday’s clash, as centre half Timm Klose is set for a spell on the sidelines after damaging his cruciate ligament in the Carabao Cup tie at Crawley Town.
Defender Christoph Zimmermann may return after a foot ligament injury, but midfielder Tom Trybull faces six weeks on the sidelines due to an ankle problem.
Man City’s last visit to Carrow Road ended in a goalless draw back in March 2016, just before Norwich’s Premier League relegation was confirmed.
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