Graeme Souness: Norwich City opener a potential banana skin for Liverpool

Norwich City will be Liverpool's first opponent of the Premier League season and Graeme Souness is adamant it could do damage at Anfield.

Norwich City celebrates winning the Championship. The team will be excited to take on Liverpool, according to Souness.   -  Getty Images

Liverpool's Premier League opener against Norwich City on Friday is a potential "banana skin" as the Canaries will be motivated to cause an upset, according to Reds great Graeme Souness.

Manchester City pipped Liverpool to the Premier League title by a single point last season, meaning the Reds' stellar efforts domestically went unrewarded. They start all over again at home to promoted Norwich, as they look to pick up where they left off last season.

Liverpool's record against Norwich in recent times suggests goals are to be expected, as the Reds have scored five times in four of their past six encounters with the Canaries.

But Norwich, which attracted praise for its stylish brand of football as it won the Championship under Daniel Farke last season, will be excited rather than overawed about heading to Anfield for its first Premier League game since 2016, Souness believes.

Read | Can Liverpool end Manchester City's hegemony?

Speaking to Omnisport on behalf of PaddyPower, Souness said: "Liverpool lost the league by one point last season and that tells you how close it was, it's going to be the same this year, so every single game is a banana skin.

"If you're losing the league by one point, you don't need to be a brain surgeon to work it out, but you need to win every game, that's going to be difficult. Both teams [Liverpool and City] played to an incredible standard, can they achieve that again this year? I very much doubt it, but I still see those as the best two teams.

 

"When the fixtures came out for Norwich, as much as they don't want to be away to one of the best teams in the league, they'll have been excited by it. It's a game they'll be looking forward to, going to Anfield, a special place. It's a banana skin, as whoever loses [the title] is going to lose by a small margin."

An issue for Liverpool in pre-season has been the number of key players away on international duty, with Alisson, Fabinho, Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah, Naby Keita and Sadio Mane all appearing in either the Copa America or Africa Cup of Nations.

Souness does not feel that will impact Liverpool's start to the season, though he accepts manager Jurgen Klopp will have to be smart about how he uses his squad. He added: "I don't think it'll be a danger at the start of the season, but he has to manage his resources and that's why you have a big squad.

"They have very big squads and can afford to buy the best and pay the best wages, and they have to have big squads if they're going challenge on all fronts."

 

Graeme Souness was talking to Omnisport on behalf of PaddyPower's Come Out and Play campaign and Proud United, a team of LGBTQ footballers from across the United Kingdom working to tackle homophobia in football.

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