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Norwich City vs Leeds United: 31/10/2021 – match preview and predicted starting XIs

Norwich City vs Leeds United

Date: 31/10/2021

K/O: 14.00

Venue: Carrow Road

Referee: Anthony Taylor

Bottom of the table Norwich host Leeds on Sunday afternoon still vying for their first win of the Premier League campaign. The visitors are also enduring a difficult season, sitting just one place above the drop zone with just one win to their name.

Despite their torrid start to the season, a couple of wins for Norwich could turn their season around and prove there is light at the end of the tunnel for Daniel Farke and his side. However, there is a theme starting to run true about Norwich – too good for the Championship, not nearly good enough for the Premier League. Having been relegated straight back to the second tier of English football following their last two promotions, it’s hard to envisage the Canaries avoiding a repeat. After a couple of hard-earned draws against Burnley and Brighton in their previous two outings, they were crushed by an outstanding Chelsea team in a 7-0 thrashing at Stamford Bridge last time out.

Fellow strugglers Leeds will know that nothing short of three points will be enough on Sunday afternoon. The West Yorkshire outfit arrive in East Anglia on the back of a 2-0 loss to Arsenal in the Carabao Cup and a 1-1 draw against Wolves last weekend. A last minute Rodrigo penalty earned the Whites a deserved point. After their excellent first campaign back in the Premier League last season, expectations have not been met by Marcelo Bielsa’s side this time around. Their biggest issue has been a lack of goals, with only Burnley and Norwich scoring fewer than Bielsa’s side.

Team News

Norwich will be missing Christoph Zimmermann through injury and defender Ben Gibson after his red card at Chelsea last time out. Billy Gilmour is available after his ineligibility against his parent club last time around. Todd Cantwell and Sam Byram are also set to be missing from the matchhday squad.

Bielsa announced a triple boost for the Whites in his Friday press conference after confirming that Junior Firpo, Raphinha and Kalvin Phillips will be available for selection. Last season’s top scorer Patrick Bamford is still missing through injury, with Rodrigo set the lean the line in his absence.

Predicted Starting XIs:

Norwich (3-4-3): Krul; Kabak, Hanley, Omobamidele; Aaron, Gilmour, Lees-Melou, Williams; Dowell, Pukki, Rashica

Leeds (4-4-1-1): Meslier; Shackleton, Llorente, Cooper, Firpo; Raphinha, Phillips, Klich, Harrison; James; Rodrigo

Score Prediction: Norwich 1-2 Leeds

Despite their poor run, they should see Sunday’s fixture as a huge opportunity to pick up their second win of the season. Despite a lack of goals from both teams, neither defence has looked particularly strong this season, so goals should certainly be on the menu!

Dan Walker

21. Spanish and Economics student at University of Leeds. Jurgen Klopp worshipping Liverpool fan passionate about all things sport. Sub-editor and part of the 90MAAT analysis and transfers sub-teams.

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