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Norwich vs Liverpool Preview

Written by @Wayde_D for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now! 

Norwich vs Liverpool | Sunday 20 April | Carrow Road | 13:00

Liverpool’s dream of ending their 24-year league title wait moved closer to reality on Sunday as Brendan Rodgers’ side downed third-placed Manchester City 3-2. The Anfield outfit lie two points clear of Chelsea, who overcame Swansea City 1-0, and seven points ahead of Manchester City who have two games in hand. With four games remaining, twelve points will guarantee Liverpool the Premier League title.

To Win (90mins)

Norwich 69/10
Draw 4/1
Liverpool 7/20

Norwich are looking to prevent their third season in the Premier League from ending with the heartbreak of relegation. The Canaries sacked Chris Hughton as manager last week and replaced him with fan favourite Neil Adams, who was promoted from his development coaching role. Norwich have been in the lower reaches of the table for most of the season, with a lack of goals their main problem. Their tally of 26 in 34 games is only better than Crystal Palace. Adams has no time to dwell on missed opportunities and bad luck against Fulham, where they lost 1-0 on the weekend. His side have only four games to save their season and, despite being the superior side against Fulham, defeat arguably leaves them in a weaker position than their adversaries even if they do hold a slender advantage in the table.

Norwich still lead Fulham by two points but their remaining fixtures make for grim reading. Liverpool and Arsenal will visit Carrow Road while the Canaries also face trips to Manchester United and Chelsea. In total, Norwich conceded sixteen goals in the corresponding fixtures earlier this season against the teams they still have to play, losing every match. However, Adams believes those sides will come to Norwich with trepidation. “At Carrow Road we are guaranteed a full house,” he said after the Fulham match. “You have seen the support we got today and we will get that again. I have played in games where we have beaten big teams there and I have seen games where Norwich have turned over the form book.”

An incredible ninety minutes at Anfield ended with Liverpool beating Manchester City 3-2 and taking charge of the Premier League title race. Philippe Coutinho’s winning goal twelve minutes from time settled an enthralling contest that saw the Reds go 2-0 up through Raheem Sterling and Martin Skrtel’s goals in the opening half hour, only for City to stage an emphatic second-half comeback. Not even a late red card for Jordan Henderson could sour Liverpool’s day, as the Reds went seven points ahead of their opponents at the top of the table. Not for the first time this season, Sterling was the player who set the tone, character and the rhythm of the Liverpool performance. The 19-year-old was absolutely dynamic in the opening period, with his expertly finished goal putting his side ahead. Liverpool’s win over City was a win of champions. Electric, defiant, lucky and resilient, they just about saw off City to earn three points which are as crucial as any they’ve picked up in the Premier League era. What happens from here is now up to them and them alone, and the key to the destination of the league title depends on just how comfortable they are in the role of favourites.

Liverpool are now on the crest of a wave. They’ve won ten straight matches and when you’ve done that then winning just four more – with only one against stern opposition in Chelsea (at home) – is very much possible. Their last two matches are against Crystal Palace on the road and Newcastle at Anfield. Midfielder Henderson was sent off late in the game for a late lunging tackle, while striker Daniel Sturridge left the field with a hamstring issue. Henderson’s absence especially will force at least one of the Reds’ substitute midfield options to step up in a big way over the coming matches to ensure the title bid doesn’t fall off track. That all points to Joe Allen, who is in a good run of form—off the bench and when starting games, importantly—though Lucas Leiva could also be called upon in a similar role.

VERDICT: Liverpool 7/20
Looking at past head-to-heads, Liverpool are the last team Norwich would have wanted to face in their efforts to stay out of the relegation zone. Liverpool have scored five goals in each of the last three matches against Norwich (5-1, 5-0 and 5-2) since the beginning of last season. The Reds have won eight of the last nine encounters, with Norwich managing just one draw. Liverpool know all three points are needed here and their firepower should prevail once again.

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