Analysis

FLIP’s Picks In-Play: Norwich vs Liverpool

Written by Sam Hopkinson

The Canaries have suffered back to back losses and will not be looking forward to a visit from Liverpool. A 3-0 loss to Bournemouth has to be considered unacceptable, even for a team fighting at the bottom half of the table. With poor showings from Wes Hoolahan and Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe in particular, Alex Neil has to find a way of sparking Norwich into life again. Liverpool managed a creditable draw with Arsenal only to be undone by a Rooney goal in their last league match—leaving them 8 points off the pace for a Champions League spot. The Merseysiders are difficult to predict, occasionally looking deadly but more often looking bereft of balance and direction. And not helped in the slightest by repeated injuries to key players.

DEFENDER

Mamadou Sakho

Very unfortunate to be on the losing side against Manchester United, Sakho looks more and more like Liverpool’s most consistent defender. With Lucas Leiva present and protecting the back four, Klopp’s side looks a little more assured in defence. The problem is who to pair the Frenchman with—injuries have depleted the position more than any other in the side.

MIDFIELDER

Joe Allen

The rebirth of Joe Allen continues as he uses his experience and savvy to help his side when they need him the most. It is strange then that there should be so many rumours about his leaving this month, possibly back to Swansea. The fact that the Welsh side could use him is beyond doubt—but his current side need him more than they’ve let on.

STRIKER

Steven Naismith

The Scot completed his move to Norwich this week for £8 million and is a good signing for a team that looks hopelessly light up front. He has played as centre-forward at times for previous clubs, and will probably be used in that fashion by Alex Neil as he scours the market for goals. Naismith is perhaps not quite the level Everton needed but Norwich have pulled off a coup in signing him. Lest we forget, Naismith’s last hattrick was against Chelsea at the start of the season. Not too bad at all.

HONOURABLE MENTION

Adam Lallana

With the news that Liverpool are negotiating with Shaktar Donetsk for their star Alex Teixiera, Lallana’s days look numbered. The Brazilian will probably cost in the region of £30 million and is an attacking midfielder or deep-lying striker. If the choice of who to drop is between Lallana or Benteke, the Englishman is probably axed simply because he wasn’t bought for £32 million four months ago. It seems a bit harsh considering he is only really lacking quality in front of goal. The rest of his game is well-rounded and would be a valuable asset to at least three quarters of the league.

About the author

Sam Hopkinson

Sam has attended matches everywhere from Cambodia to Canada, and is a persistent Spurs fan. If he didn't have football, he'd probably turn to a life of crime just to get that exhilarating fix. Superstitious enough to believe that picking a player for his fantasy team spells doom for the poor sod.