Norwich’s return to the Premier League is, at first glance, an exciting prospect for FPL managers. The Canaries have found themselves as the league’s whipping boys in previous top-flight campaigns, and they’ve shown very few signs of tightening up since then. But are we overlooking last season’s Championship winners? This Norwich City FPL team guide for FPL 2019/20 will take a closer look.
What style of football do Norwich City play?
Norwich’s transfer policy is clear to see. They prefer astute, easy-on-the-wallet recruitment from overseas and the promotion of academy products within a possession-based framework.
Head coach Daniel Farke was loyal to these methods throughout last season, despite a rocky start. Don’t expect him to deviate from his game plan if early results don’t go Norwich’s way.
Norwich look to suffocate teams with the ball and possess the technical ability to play comfortably in all positions. Usually set in a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1, Farke’s system benefited from a host of players who were able to make the difference in the final third.
Teemu Pukki spearheaded the attack in ruthless fashion, scoring 29 goals and assisting 9 in 43 games last season. Behind him, the likes of Emiliano Buendia, Marco Stiepermann, Onel Hernandez and Mario Vrancic all contributed 15 or more attacking returns across the whole Championship campaign.
In defence, the young fullback duo of Jamal Lewis and Max Aarons have enough talent to attract the attention of much bigger clubs than the Canaries. But their inexperience has contributed to a defence that conceded 57 goals last season. Norwich also conceded the 6th highest number of goals from set-pieces; something that Farke will be keen to improve upon.
Norwich have looked to sign players from Europe’s top leagues without breaking the bank. Goalkeeper Ralf Fahrmann and attacker Josip Drmic are both proven Bundesliga assets looking to rejuvenate their past form. Patrick Roberts has also come in on loan from Manchester City, with the young English winger looking to bring his Celtic form from previous seasons to the Premier League.
Last season’s key statistics
Even in their Championship winning season, Norwich conceded 34 times in 23 home fixtures. This is likely due to their confidence of overturning weaker teams with their potent attack on home soil.
However, this will not be something to hang their hat on with the step up to the Premier League, so we would advise steering clear of their defence in the early stages. At the opposite end of the park, Norwich scored 93 times last season – the most of a promoted side since Bournemouth in 2014/15 – but again, give them at least a couple of weeks to see how they settle.
FPL fixture difficulty
The table above shows the fixture difficulty of Norwich’s opening six matches, as determined by our clean sheet tracker and attacking tracker. These difficulty trackers are based on last seasons home/away specific performance statistics. Newly promoted sides statistics have been weighted according to their transitional value.
Who takes penalties for Norwich City?
Norwich struggled from the spot last season and rotated their taker looking for success. It is thought that Vrancic is the primary penalty taker, but more information could surface during the beginning of the season.
Which Norwich City players to pick on FPL?
It’d be a waste of everyone’s time to extol the virtues of Norwich’s defence. Whilst Max Aarons (£4.5m) and Jamal Lewis (£4.5m) have obvious attacking potential, Norwich still look too vulnerable at the back for serious consideration. This has only been reinforced during a fractious pre-season, which saw them concede 11 goals and keep just 1 clean sheet.
The midfield and forward positions are where it gets more interesting. For us, Teemu Pukki (£6.5m) is still too expensive. Though undoubtedly a great finisher, the Finn is unproven in the Premier League and could struggle against more sophisticated defensive systems against which Norwich will create fewer opportunities.
Behind him, Emiliano Buendia (£6.0m) could prove to be more cost-effective. The creative Argentine contributed 8 goals last season and looks set to play as many minutes as he’s physically able.
Intriguingly, Norwich also boasts two £4.5m midfield options who could see minutes next season. Todd Cantwell and Moritz Leitner have both impressed in preseason, with Moritz Leitner given the number 10 shirt too. With both under 0.5% owned, a price drop is unlikely.
Norwich’s conservative recruitment is a gamble. Whilst Farke believes in his promotion-winning squad, there are evident vulnerabilities that still need to be addressed. The January transfer window could be an interesting one for the Canaries, but for now, we would hold off on investment.