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Norwich City 2021-22 season preview - prediction, summer signings, star player

:Headline: Norwich City 2021-22 season preview - prediction, summer signings, star player:
Sports Mole takes an in-depth look ahead to Norwich City's 2021-22 campaign, including predictions, summer signings and their star player.
Sports Mole

Following their third promotion to the Premier League in seven seasons last year, Norwich City head into the new campaign with the ultimate aim of avoiding another immediate drop.

Daniel Farke's men were relegated in their first campaign back in the top flight two years ago, and after an immediate return, they head back in having learned from their difficult experience in the 2019-20 season.

The Canaries ended the pre-season campaign in style after a coronavirus outbreak disrupted their preparations, forcing the cancellation of two friendlies, and they will be keen to hit the ground running in the battle for survival.

Here, Sports Mole provides an in-depth preview for Norwich's upcoming season, and what supporters can expect from the Carrow Road outfit.


The Canaries have been handed arguably the toughest start of any side in the league this season, beginning with a home clash against Liverpool before they travel to take on defending champions Manchester City, and there is no respite after that with games against Leicester City and Arsenal quickly following.

They will kick off the new year with a trip to Leicester, before a somewhat favourable run sees Farke's men take on Everton, Watford and Crystal Palace consecutively heading into February.

Their final run of fixtures is not much kinder than the start for the Canaries, as they face trips to the midlands to take on Aston Villa and Wolverhampton, while also hosting West Ham United and taking on Tottenham Hotspur at Carrow Road on the final day.

> Click here to see all of Norwich's 2021-22 fixtures


Kenny Coker (undisclosed, Southend United)
Ben Gibson (£8.4m, Burnley)
Dimitris Giannoulis (£6.3m, PAOK)
Angus Gunn (£5.3m, Southampton)
Milot Rashica (£9.9m, Werder Bremen)
Flynn Clarke (undisclosed, Peterborough United)
Billy Gilmour (loan, Chelsea)
Pierre Lees Melou (£5.4m, Nice)
Josh Sargent (£8.6m, Werder Bremen)

Alexander Tettey (free, Rosenborg)
Mario Vrancic (free, Stoke City)
Jordan Thomas (released)
Emiliano Buendia (£34.6m, Aston Villa)
Orjan Nyland (released)
Marco Stiepermann (released)
Josh Martin (loan, MK Dons)
Moritz Leitner (free, FC Zurich)
Philip Heise (free, Karlsruher)
Daniel Barden (loan, Livingston)
Sebastian Soto (loan, Porto)
Akin Famewo (loan, Charlton Athletic)
Sam McCallum (loan, Queens Park Rangers)
Gassan Ahadme (loan, Portsmouth)
Danel Sinani (free, Huddersfield Town)

Total spent to date: £44.2m
Total received to date: £34.6m

Net transfer balance: -£9.67m


Goalkeepers: Angus Gunn, Tim Krul Michael McGovern

Defenders: Max Aarons, Sam Byram, Ben Gibson, Grant Hanley, Christoph Zimmermann, Bali Mumba, Dimitris Giannoulis, Andrew Omobamidele, Timm Klose

Midfielders: Lukas Rupp, Billy Gilmour, Kieran Dowell, Przemyslaw Placheta, Todd Cantwell, Milot Rashica, Jacob Sorensen, Pierre Lees-Melou, Kenny McLean, Onel Hernandez, Tom Trybull

Forwards: Jordan Hugill, Teemu Pukki, Adam Idah, Josh Sargent

> Click here for full details of Norwich's 2021-22 squad



While Emiliano Buendia would have likely claimed this spot should he have stayed at Carrow Road over the summer, the Canaries' key creative hub was poached by Aston Villa, and although the signings of Milot Rashica, Josh Sargent and Billy Gilmour could make a big difference for Farke's men, they will ultimately be reliant on veteran forward Teemu Pukki to find the net this year.

The Finnish international arrived in Norfolk at the beginning of the 2018-19 season on a free transfer, and immediately fired Farke's men to promotion with 29 league goals and 10 assists.

Pukki then had a blistering start to life in the Premier League, but would be unable to continue his scoring form in the second half of the season, finishing with 11 league goals as the Canaries were relegated at the foot of the top flight.

The 31-year-old returned to his very best upon their drop back to the Championship, again helping his side to a first-placed finish with 26 goals and four assists in just 41 league games.

While still boasting a collection of exciting talent around the front line, it is Pukki who Farke will be desperate to get firing if they are to stand a good chance of steering clear of the bottom three this time around.


As the Canaries made a switch in their philosophy in 2017, Alex Neil was replaced by Daniel Farke, who was previously in charge of Borussia Dortmund II, and while his first campaign in the English second tier only produced a 14th-placed finish, the Norfolk outfit were set up well to build going forward.

It would not take the German long to fully implement his ideas, as they won the league the following season, earning promotion to the Premier League with 94 points.

While they would not fare overly well in the top flight, finishing at the foot of the division, Farke stuck with Norwich's progressive system as they squared off with the league's best sides, causing a particular upset at home to Manchester City as they defeated the defending champions 3-2 at Carrow Road.

Upon their return to the Championship, and with Farke still in the hot seat, the Canaries were even more dominant, topping the league with 97 points, meaning the 44-year-old will lead his side into the top flight for the second time, with the aim of survival this time around.

LAST SEASON - 1st in Championship

After finishing bottom of the Premier League in the 2019-20 season, the Canaries set their aim to bounce straight back up, and Daniel Farke repaid the trust put in him by guiding them to a first-placed finish.

Following a disappointing start to the season, collecting just four points from their opening four games, Norwich quickly found form, rising into the top two in November and not giving up their place for the remainder of the season.

A nine-game league winning run spanning February and March, that stretched into a 13-game unbeaten run, saw Farke's men move well and truly away from the chasing pack.

While their intensity may have taken a slight dip after promotion was confirmed, Farke's men still finished with two consecutive victories and a draw to finish on 97 points, six ahead of second-placed Watford and 10 points clear of the playoff places.

Throughout the season, their open attacking style saw the Canaries put plenty of teams to the sword, with only Brentford topping their 75 goals in 45 league outings.


While they should be more streetwise than their last spell in the top flight, we still expect the Carrow Road outfit to carry their attacking style into this season, not fearing the league's most dangerous sides, and unfortunately, that could be their downfall.

Certainly expect the Canaries to pull off several eye-catching home victories, like the win over Manchester City two years ago, but ultimately we see them falling back down to the second tier due to their slight lack of a battling core.

Farke's style seems to be suited far better to games in which Norwich are dominating, and they will get few opportunities to control the ball in the top flight, so we see them having a difficult campaign, especially without talisman Buendia.

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