Liverpool v Norwich: Hosts to keep up chase of leaders with easy win

Liverpool host Norwich this weekend and Simon Mail is expecting Jurgen Klopp's side to win with plenty to spare at Anfield...

Liverpool building momentum for run-in

Liverpool will need a remarkable run to the end of the season, if they are to overhaul leaders Manchester City, but Jurgen Klopp's side should have few problems temporarily closing the gap with victory over Norwich. A run of four successive Premier League victories have ensured Liverpool are still in with a shout of the title, although they are reliant on the champions slipping up.

Heading into the weekend nine points behind Man City with a game in hand, Liverpool are their closest challengers and will need to ensure they are still within sight of them by the time they visit the Etihad Stadium in early April.

Liverpool were far from their best last weekend but managed to withstand early pressure from struggling Burnley to grind out a 1-0 win at Turf Moor. A 2-0 midweek win at Inter Milan gave them control of their Champions League tie and clinched a seventh successive victory in all competitions.

Norwich improving but still face struggle

Norwich appeared to be doomed at the end of last year with a return to the Championship appearing inevitable. But Dean Smith has orchestrated a revival which has at least given supporters hope of avoiding relegation. Norwich have climbed off the bottom of the table and are up to 17th but are still four points from safety due to Newcastle's recent resurgence.

Back-to-back wins last month over Everton and Watford achieved the rare feat of ending the tenures of both opposing managers, Rafael Benitez and Claudio Ranieri respectively. Their 3-0 victory at Vicarage Road was a huge result but there was a reality check last weekend against the champions. Man City cruised to a 4-0 win at Carrow Road and the Canaries could be in for another torrid afternoon at Anfield.

Liverpool rightfully short odds for victory

Liverpool are virtually unbackable at odds of 1.14 but it is hard to take issue with the slender price. The Reds have won 13 of their last 15 top-flight games against Norwich and there is a massive gulf in class between the teams which should be evident throughout the contest.

Mo Salah solo 1280.jpg

Norwich are dismissed as no-hopers for this weekend's game with the visitors available at huge odds of 30.0. Liverpool are the only unbeaten team at home this season and it would require a monumental upset to envisage Norwich ending that record. Smith's side are that price for a reason and it is hard to make a convincing case for the upset.

The draw is trading at 11.0 and this is surely the best Norwich fans can hope for. Liverpool have drawn six times in the league, which is the reason they are lagging behind the leaders, but it still requires a major leap of faith to expect Norwich to avoid defeat. A convincing Liverpool win is expected but there is absolutely no interest in backing them in this market.

Hosts to punish Norwich in high-scoring win

The Reds are the joint highest scorers, with 61 goals in the league, and Klopp's hosts should dish out another beating this weekend. Liverpool have scored three or more goals against Norwich in four of their last five meetings and another high-scoring win is likely. A bet on Liverpool to win both halves appeals at 10/11. Liverpool's last three league wins at Anfield all produced this outcome and Norwich could face another heavy defeat.

With Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane back from the Africa Cup of Nations, there is no shortage of attacking options for Liverpool. But it could pay off to back a less heralded name to provide another goal on Saturday.

Fabinho is not renowned for his goalscoring exploits but the midfielder netted the winner at Burnley last week.

This took his tally to five goals in his last seven domestic appearances and Fabinho is a tempting price at 11/4 to get in on the act again at Anfield.

Opta Stat

Liverpool average 2.8 goals-per-game in the Premier League against Norwich (53 goals in 19 games), their highest rate against any side they have faced at least five times in the competition.

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