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Norwich City v Liverpool preview

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Liverpool are again likely to change an entire XI when Brendan Rodgers names his starting line-up for their trip to Norwich City.

There will be an acute desire to follow up a win in the Capital One Cup with a opening Premier League victory.

Many players omitted from the team against West Bromwich Albion on Wednesday are certain to make returns.

But with Martin Kelly sidelined for at least the remainder of the year, Jose Enrique carrying a knock and Daniel Agger  doubtful after bruising a bone in the defeat to Manchester United, there is a chance that at least one defender may survive the cull of midweek starters.

Fabio Borini was rated a longer shot than Agger to feature at Carrow Road. That too creates a potential opportunity. As does Jonjo Shelvey's absence. The midfielder sits out the second match of a three game ban.

Harry Kane is out of Chris Hughton's plans. So too Steven Whittaker. 

Sebastien Bassong and Anthony Pilkington are struggling to be declared fit.

The game is likely to come too soon for Simon Lappin who has returned to training after an ankle problem.

Ahead of the game Steven Gerrard admits that the team are under pressure to do well in forthcoming games.

A tough start has seen the Reds complete ties with Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United.

Though all those games were at home - and maximum points could have been claimed against the reigning Premier League champions and last season's runners-up.

Failing to pick up everything on offer, at any venue, is no longer good enough according to the skipper. 

"We have a run of games coming up now where there are points we should be taking but the longer it [remaining without a league victory] goes on the more difficult it is going to get so it is important against Norwich we take maximum points," Gerrard said.

Drawing comfort from the performances he has been part of rather than the end result he added: "I think what we need to do is keep playing like we have done and hopefully we'll get the rub of the green, get referee's decisions in our favour and we will go on and take maximum points.

"Of course it puts more pressure on us. If we had won against United and beaten City everyone would be saying about how good a result it was at Sunderland [Liverpool drew 1-1 against the Wearsiders].

"But because that win hasn't come it seems as if we dropped points at Sunderland, so it is no good getting a point from these tough away games any more, we need to win them."

Brendan Rodgers recollected the performance and victory Liverpool achieved against the Canaries last term when Luis Suarez scored a hat-trick in the 3-0 win.

He is not expecting the afternoon in Norfolk to be so comfortable, though remains happy with the work being done at Melwood and believes things will fall into place soon. 

"We know it is a difficult place to go - the last three seasons Norwich have been strong at Carrow Road - but if we can get the same result as last year we'll be fine.

"Certainly our opening five fixtures were always going to be tough but we have that mentality within the group that we have been looking for and the balance in the team is good and the spirit is strong.

"All I can control is our own preparation: the work ethic of the team and the confidence - and ultimately that will lead to success.

"The confidence within the team is very high. Even though we haven't won in the Premier League it is still strong.

"Now they have adapted well to what I have been asking them to do - and there is still a lot of improvement to make - I know for sure the rub of the green will come very soon.

"Hopefully now we can go on a win and get the results which relate to performances."

 

 

 

Norwich City from: Ruddy, Martin R, Bassong, Barnett, Garrido, Snodgrass, Howson, Johnson, Pilkington, Jackson, Holt, Surman, Hoolahan, Morison, Tierney, Butterfield, Bennett E, Tettey, Bennett R, Martin C, Turner, Fox, Bunn

Liverpool from: Reina, Johnson, Wisdom, Agger, Skrtel, Carragher, Robinson, Gerrard, Allen, Sahin, Borini, Sterling, Suarez, Jones, Coates, Assaidi, Henderson, Suso, Yesil, Enrique, Downing, Morgan, Pacheco, Cole

 

 

Referee: Mike Jones

Kick-off is at 3pm

 

 

Liverpool are favourites to take all three points with Shanklygates.co.uk's betting partner, paddypower.com 

At 5/6 the Reds are odds on favourites

Norwich are a much longer 10/3

A range of other markets are available with some value in correct result and goalscorer bets  

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