Norwich resume their quest for Premier League safety when they welcome Southampton to Carrow Road on Friday evening.
Prior to the three-month suspension of the league, the Canaries were fighting tooth and nail to stave off the threat of relegation. They currently occupy 20th-place, where they are six points adrift of Watford just outside the drop zone.
With difficult fixtures against Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City on the horizon, Daniel Farke knows he will have to pick up points against the league’s middling clubs, starting with a crucial clash against the Saints.
After a tumultuous start to the campaign, Ralph Hasenhuttl has steadied the ship and set Southampton on course to a comfortable mid-table finish. The South Coast club are seven points above the bottom three, but won’t want to be dragged into the relegation dogfight.
A win in Norfolk would go a long way to easing any slight apprehensions at the St Mary’s, but a defeat could unsettle a few nerves, with the club facing three of the ‘Big Six’ in their next six games.
Norwich vs Southampton kick-off time and details
- Competition: Premier League
- Venue: Carrow Road
- Date: Friday, 19 June 2020
- Kick-off: 18:00 PM (UK time)
Where to watch Norwich vs Southampton on TV
- TV coverage (UK): Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Premier League
- TV coverage (US): NBCSN
Norwich & Southampton‘s previous line-ups:
- Norwich (vs Sheffield United): Krul; Aarons, Hanley, Godfrey, Lewis; Tettey, McLean, Duda, Buendia, Cantwell; Pukki.
- Southampton (vs Newcastle): McCarthy; Valery, Stephens, Bednarek, Bertrand; Hojbjerg*, Ward-Prowse, Djenepo*, Boufal; Long, Ings.
The Canaries have had a bit of an injury-hit season but the three-month hiatus has given the likes of Onel Hernandez, Timm Klose and Sam Byram all time to recover ahead of a defining for weeks for the club. Likewise, the Saints welcome back Nathan Redmond, who is likely start in place of the suspended Moussa Djenepo, and Stuart Armstrong.
Hassenhuttl this week confirmed Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg has been replaced as captain by James Ward-Prowse. It is because his contract expires this summer and he has spoken publicly of a desire to play at a “higher level.” Whether he will lose his starting spot as well as the armband is unclear.
Hasenhuttl said: “No, he will not be captain. I spoke with him and we had an agreement, and made clear that if you decide not to extend your contract, you will not be captain of this team.”
Players to watch:
Norwich: Teemu Pukki. There really is only one man so central to Norwich’s system that if he drops out, the whole operation suffers, and that is Teemu Pukki. The clinical Finn has been the difference-maker for Farke this season, with his goalscoring exploits yielding 11 goals, or 44 per cent of the club’s total output this season. That Pukki has amassed 11 league goals for the division’s least prolific side is commendable in its own right, but now his teammates will have to start chipping in where they can if they are to beat the drop. Incredibly only Pukki and Todd Cantwell have netted more than one goal for Norwich this season. That will have to change in the coming weeks.
Southampton: Danny Ings. Likewise, the Saints also boast their own high-flying marksman. Ings has realised the potential that prompted Liverpool to lure him to Anfield in 2015. With the England international putting his past injury problems to one side, he has showcased an attacking prowess up there with the very best of the division. His 15-goal tally means he is still in the Golden Boot conversation, with Jamie Vardy leading the way on 19, and he will want to keep Gareth Southgate alert for future call-ups to the England squad. Now is not the time to hit ‘beach mode’.
Scoreline prediction: Norwich 2-1 Southampton
Premier League 2019/20 recent form:
- Norwich: LWLLD
- Southampton: LLWLL