Liverpool have been working hard under Brendan Rodgers on ball retention. They had the majority of possession against Manchester United at 53% with only ten men and they dominated West Brom in the League Cup with 57% of possession. In both games Liverpool looked frightening during the spells where they were allowed to keep the ball. The Norwich defence has conceded eight goals this season which suggests Liverpool will get ample chances to score if they repeat these possession stats.
Confidence and Belief
After a dodgy start to the season Liverpool fans and players will have a greater feeling of confidence and belief. Performances have been improving and they have improved in matches where the side have been expected to struggle. The effect this will have on the match against Norwich this weekend is the simple fact that it will make the players a little sharper and a little more determined. The side will have the confidence to attack away from home instead of sitting back and absorbing pressure.
Brendan Rodgers has been very shrewd and clever in the way he has selected his teams in recent weeks. He has injected younger and exciting players into the side who are gifted on the ball which helps retain possession and create chances. He has stuck more experienced and bigger players in alongside them to offer protection and support. This is vital because one of the ways Norwich are going to look to get on top of Liverpool is to throw their weight around in midfield. The likes of Steven Gerrard, Stewart Downing and Jonjo Shelvey are ideal in protecting Sahin, Suso, Rahim Sterling and many others.
In the League Cup match against West Brom, Liverpool had nine shots on target as the away team which is a stat that any side would be proud of playing West Brom away. This proves the side are creating chances and if they create a similar number against Norwich, with more experienced and clinical players in the side, then Norwich could be staring down the barrel of a big defeat. Bear in mind these nine shots on target came from a midfield and attack without Fabio Borini, Luis Suarez, Steven Gerrard, Suso or Rahim Sterling.
Liverpool look very good at building pressure this season and they will be encouraged to do the same by the way the Norwich defence is bound to play. When Norwich don’t have the ball, they are bound to drop deep as they are scared of the pace in the Liverpool team. Liverpool will not argue for a second if they are allowed to press the Norwich penalty area without being harassed higher up the pitch. If Liverpool can build pressure in the same way they did in the first-half against Manchester United then it will be a matter of time before they score.