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2019/20 Premier League preview - Norwich City: Survival the achievable goal for Daniel Farke's men

Richard Jolly runs the rule over Norwich City ahead of the new season, including key player, new signing to watch and predicted league finish

Norwich City manager Daniel Farke's primary focus will be to avoid relegation from the Premier League. Press Association
Norwich City manager Daniel Farke's primary focus will be to avoid relegation from the Premier League. Press Association

If Daniel Farke’s first season in Norfolk was forgettable, his second was fantastic. Tipped for mid-table, Norwich City instead won the Championship, hauls of 94 points and 93 goals showing how creative and productive they were.

Sporting director Stuart Webber’s recruitment produced a host of bargains, with wingers Emi Buendia and Onel Hernandez offering flair and Marco Stiepermann a revelation after being moved from left-back to No 10.

After a quiet summer, Norwich lack big names or Premier League experience but they remain true to the policy that brought them this far. If survival would be success, it would be a mistake to underestimate them.

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Who finishes where in 2019-20?

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Key player: Teemu Pukki

The free transfer who would have been a bargain at £10 million (Dh45.5m), Pukki scored 29 goals in his debut season in Norfolk. For good measure, he added 10 assists. He made Farke’s 4-2-3-1 formation work; not electric, he nonetheless eluded defenders with brilliant movement. But can he do the same at a higher level?

Signing to watch: Patrick Roberts

It is more than five years since Roberts made a Premier League debut at just 17. Since then, he has struggled to realise that early potential, particularly in the last two, injury-hit seasons, and he failed to score while on loan at Girona last year. But Farke has shown he can improve wingers.

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The best summer transfers

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Talking point: Can Norwich keep the goals out?

City’s exciting young full-backs Jamal Lewis and Max Aarons were rightly praised for their promise and attacking efforts last season but, while centre-back Christoph Zimmerman had a fine campaign, the reality was that Norwich conceded 57 goals, more than 16th-place Stoke, City including 34 at home.

It scarcely bodes well for their chances of keeping clean sheets against superior attacks. Only four teams conceded more set-piece goals than the Canaries last season so there is a need to tighten up. Farke has proved he is an excellent attacking coach; Norwich’s fate now may depend on how well he can drill his defence.

Prediction: 17th

Updated: August 2, 2019 03:31 PM

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