Premier League preview: Avoiding the drop first priority for frugal Norwich

Having suffered relegation immediately after its promotion to the Premier League last time round, Norwich City's primary aim is to avoid the drop on its return to the top flight.

The priority for Norwich, as is the case for most of the promoted clubs, is to avoid relegation this season.   -  Getty Images

After three seasons in the Championship, the second tier of English football, following its relegation from the Premier League at the end of the 2015-16 season, Norwich City is back in the English top-fight.

Having suffered relegation immediately after its promotion to the English top flight last time round, the club’s primary aim is to avoid the drop on its return to the Premier League.

The Canaries finished 14th in the Championship in 2017-18, the first season under its German manager Daniel Farke, and was only tipped for a mid-table finish last season. The club instead ended up gaining promotion by winning the Championship with 94 points.

Norwich scored the most goals last season and it was the single biggest factor in its victorious, promotion-securing campaign.

Transfer activity

Norwich has been frugal in the transfer market, spending only £3.75million on new recruits.

Two of its marquee signings are Ralf Fahrmann, who might take over from Tim Krul as the first-choice goalkeeper this season, and Patrick Roberts, both signed on loan from Schalke and Manchester City respectively.

Right-back Sam Byram secured a transfer from West Ham United and is the club’s most-expensive signing, having put pen to paper on a four-year contract worth £747k.

Players to watch out for

Teemu Pukki
The 29-year-old Finland international won the Championship golden boot for scoring 29 goals last season. Pukki said in a recent interview that he didn’t expect to score the number of goals he did. It’s also unlikely that he will score as many against Premier League opposition, but he’s Norwich’s main goal-scorer and is a creative force too, evidenced by his 10 assists in the Championship last season.

Emiliano Buendia

Norwich signed Buendia ahead of the 2018-19 season and he finished the campaign with eight goals and a dozen assists in the Championship. A player who can play on the flanks and in the hole behind the striker, Buendia is a key component of Norwich’s attack.

Season expectations

The priority for Norwich, as is the case for most of the promoted clubs, is to avoid relegation. While the attacking stats from the Championship-winning season make for good reading, Norwich had the eighth-best defensive record in the division, conceding 57 goals. Manager Farke must shore up the defence to give Norwich the best chance of avoiding the drop. 

Norwich City's transfer activity

IN: Ibrahim Amadou (loan, Sevilla), Ralf Fahrmann (loan, Schalke), Patrick Roberts (loan, Manchester City), Josip Drmic (free, Borussia Monchengladbach), Rocky Bushiri (nominal, KV Oostende), Aidan Fitzpatrick (£350,000, Partick Thistle), Sam Byram (£750,000, West Ham), Charlie Gilmour (free, Arsenal).
OUT: Nelson Oliveira (undisclosed, AEK Athens), Marcel Franke (£450,000, Hannover 96), Ivo Pinto (free, Dinamo Zagreb), , Yanic Wildschut (free, Maccabi Haifa), Carlton Morris (loan, Rotherham), Mason Bloomfield (loan, Crawley), Sean Raggett (loan, Portsmouth), Charlie Gilmour (loan, Telstar), James Husband (loan, Blackpool), Rocky Bushiri (loan, Blackpool), Diallang Jaiyesimi (loan, Swindon), Steven Naismith (free, Hearts), Tristan Abrahams, Matt Jarvis, Ben Marshall (all released)

Premier League fixtures

August

9 -Liverpool v Norwich

17 - Norwich v Newcastle

24 - Norwich v Chelsea

31 - West Ham v Norwich

September

14 - Norwich v Manchester City

21 - Burnley v Norwich

28 - Crystal Palace v Norwich

October

5 - Norwich v Aston Villa

19 - Bournemouth v Norwich

26 - Norwich v Manchester United

November

2 - Brighton v Norwich

9 - Norwich v Watford

23 - Everton v Norwich

30 - Norwich v Arsenal

December

4 - Southampton v Norwich

7 - Norwich v Sheffield United

14 - Leicester v Norwich

21 - Norwich v Wolves

26 - Aston Villa v Norwich

28 - Norwich v Tottenham

January

1 - Norwich v Crystal Palace

11 - Manchester United v Norwich

18 - Norwich v Bournemouth

22 - Tottenham v Norwich

February

1 - Newcastle v Norwich

8 - Norwich v Liverpool

22 - Wolves v Norwich

29 - Norwich v Leicester

March

7 - Sheffield United v Norwich

14 - Norwich v Southampton

21 - Norwich v Everton

April

4 - Arsenal v Norwich

11 - Norwich v Brighton

18 - Watford v Norwich

25 - Norwich v West Ham

May

2 - Chelsea v Norwich

9 - Norwich v Burnley

17 - Manchester City v Norwich

  Dugout videos