Everton v Norwich City Preview

Everton v Norwich City Preview

After a promising start to the season, based on two sublime victories against Newcastle United and Man City, that now seems a very long time ago as Norwich City sit at the bottom of the table with only a draw at Bournemouth to hang any hope on.

Who possibly could have predicted the extent of injuries endured for more than the first third of this season?

Three centre backs out of action has been the main focus alongside the lack of investment and the clubs very strong strategic forecast on almost guaranteed relegation.

Zimmerman and Hernandez injuries could not have been foreseen by the club but could the same be said for the fleeting glimpses of Klose and Handley on the pitch this season? I believe the simple answer is yes and additional cover should have been provided.

It was noted that 21-year-old centre back Akin Famewo who has sixteen first-team appearances with Luton and Grimsby behind him has not been used when up against the makeshift midfield offering of Tettey and Amadou.

For many fans, the Watford home game was seen as a pivotal moment on the pending lack of further success for this season. Others will be clinging onto the hope that the imminent return of key central defenders plus Vrancic and Hernandez getting up to speed following long term injuries will turn the tide.

In the last six games, Everton has beaten West Ham United, Watford and Southampton, drawn with Spurs and lost to Brighton and Burnley. Currently, the form guide is pretty irrelevant when compared to the lack and points and indeed goals produced from the Canaries.

The change of management and depth of investment at Goodison appears to continually make no impact. The club continues to live in the shadow of their red neighbours and simply make the numbers in the Premier League.

City must get their positive heads on and stop making critical mistakes that inevitably lead to conceding a goal. The toffees do have a superb keeper in Jordan Pickford whilst Gylfi Sigurdsson is class in midfield and Norwich could certainly do with the experience of the calibre of a Leighton Baines in the back four.

Norwich have won twice in the last 11 attempts in Merseyside. September 1993 when Evan Ekoku scored four a one for Chris Sutton in a 5-1 thrashing whilst the last meeting in September 2016 resulted in a 2-0 league cup win when ex Evertonian Naismith and Josh Murphy got second-half strikes.

Other City and Everton connections include John Ruddy, Mike Walker, Matt Jackson, James Vaughan, Neil Adams, Carlo Nash, Ross Jack, Mike Milligan and coach Alan Irvine.

My favourite is Dave Watson who played 212 and 419 games for City and Everton respectively and of course lifted the Milk Cup in 1985 for City, the FA Cup 1995 and First division Championship in 1997 with Everton.

Hopefully, Norwich’s defence and midfield will get a shakeup with the intent to solidify the team. I’m hoping for at the least a low scoring draw.

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