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Preview: Everton vs. Norwich City - prediction, team news, lineups
24/09/2021 13:45:14

Both seeking to bounce back from EFL Cup exits in midweek, Everton welcome Norwich City to Goodison Park in Saturday afternoon's (3:00PM, 25 Sept) Premier League clash.

The two clubs also enter the contest on the back of top-flight losses, as Rafael Benitez's side went down 3-0 to Aston Villa while the Canaries also shipped three against Watford.

We say: Everton 2-0 Norwich City

Norwich supporters may be feeling quietly hopeful of a shock result at Goodison Park given their hosts' injury and confidence woes, and their recent results on the blue half of Merseyside have been encouraging.

However, Benitez's depleted side will view this encounter as a prime opportunity to get their European charge back on track, and we expect them to do just that this weekend.

Match preview

Twice Everton were forced to come from behind against Queens Park Rangers in the EFL Cup - as Lucas Digne and Andros Townsend responded to a pair of Charlie Austin headers - but the Toffees' efforts were all in vain once the contest was decided from 12 yards.

Tom Davies was the guilty man as his saved penalty proved costly in the shootout, and with Everton also suffering a humbling 3-0 loss at Aston Villa last weekend, the Benitez revolution has lost some momentum after a stellar opening period.

Still able to boast a respectable tally of 10 points from their opening 5 games, Everton are firmly where they want to be - mixing with the European-chasers in sixth place - and they welcome the Canaries to Goodison Park on a three-game winning streak at home in the top flight.

It is hardly a surprise to see Everton's downturn in form coincide with injuries to Richarlison, Jordan Pickford and Dominic Calvert-Lewin, so the onus will certainly be on Townsend and Demarai Gray to continue providing the attacking inspiration lest they risk slipping down the rankings even further.

Not since the days of Marco Silva have Everton managed to string together a longer winning streak on home soil (six) and no matter how much their upcoming opponents may have spent in the transfer market, the results are just not coming for Daniel Farke.

As expected, Jurgen Klopp rested the vast majority of his big-hitters and handed some of Liverpool's up-and-coming starlets the chance to impress at Carrow Road, but Norwich still fell to a dampening 3-0 EFL Cup loss against a second-string Reds team.

Takumi Minamino struck twice either side of Divock Origi's header to send the Canaries packing, and that result came days after Farke's side had conceded a trio of goals to newly-promoted Watford, with Teemu Pukki's consolation one of the few things that Norwich have had to cheer this term.

Still rooted to the bottom of the table as the only side yet to pick up a point in the new Premier League season, no team has conceded as many as Norwich's 14 so far, while their two strikes at the correct end of the pitch is only matched by Arsenal and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Furthermore, the Canaries travel to Goodison Park on an eight-game losing streak away from home in the top flight - netting just one goal in that time - but their most recent Premier League victory on the road did come against Everton all the way back in November 2019.

Norwich's winning streak at Goodison Park now stands at two games following their 2-0 EFL Cup win in the 2016-17 season, but Everton won the most recent meeting 1-0 at Carrow Road in June 2020 thanks to Michael Keane's winner.

Team News

Everton boss Benitez expects Richarlison, Pickford and Calvert-Lewin to remain out for at least another two weeks, while Seamus Coleman is also unlikely to feature before the end of the month.

Digne and Andre Gomes both sustained calf tweaks against QPR, but both will aim to shake off the issue in time to feature here, while Fabian Delph is definitely out and Jean-Philippe Gbamin is touch and go with a quadricep issue.

Allan, Gray, Keane and Abdoulaye Doucoure are all set for recalls after making the bench in midweek, while James Rodriguez has completed a move to Qatari outfit Al-Rayyan.

Norwich may be able to welcome Todd Cantwell back after he missed out against Liverpool for personal reasons, but Przemyslaw Placheta (COVID-19), Sam Byram (thigh) and Christoph Zimmermann (ankle) remain out.

Angus Gunn had an evening to forget in between the sticks against Liverpool and will make way for Tim Krul here, while Ozan Kabak and Brandon Williams could earn recalls to the defence alongside Max Aarons.

Pukki will return to lead the line alongside Milot Rashica, while Josh Sargent should also return to the attack after being left out of the squad in midweek.

Everton possible starting lineup:

Begovic; Godfrey, Mina, Keane, Digne; Townsend, Doucoure, Allan, Iwobi; Gray, Rondon

Norwich City possible starting lineup:

Krul; Aarons, Hanley, Kabak, Williams; McLean, Gilmour, Lees Melou; Rashica, Pukki, Sargent

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