The Canaries won the Championship for the second time in three seasons under Daniel Farke to return to the Premier League at the first time of asking, but will be hoping for a much better fight for survival than in 2019/20.
That was a much more memorable season for Liverpool, of course, who secured their first Premier League title, which they will be aiming to do in the campaign ahead after suffering an injury-hit season last time out.
The Reds are as short as 3/10 favourites to kick things off with a victory, with the draw 19/4 and a Norwich win 8/1.
Liverpool have won 10 of the last 12 PL meetings between these two sides in this century, with the other two results being draws.
In all honesty, I can’t see beyond Jurgen Klopp’s side bagging the three points, but it’s hard to find value from a betting perspective given how heavily odds-on they are.
My eyes are immediately drawn to the fact that Andre Marriner is officiating this clash, which generally means cards are unlikely to be frequently brandished.
Indeed, the 50-year-old averaged only 2.40 cards per game in the PL last season, showing fewer than four cards in 10 of his last 12 PL matches.
I should stress that I do expect cards to rise with fans back in the ground, but equally I think PL referees will have taken on board the positive reaction to Euro 2020 officials generally being hesitant to reach for their pocket, too.
Norwich and Liverpool both have pretty clean disciplinary records in recent years, too, so I’m happy to go with Under 4 Cards for Both Teams Combined alongside a Liverpool win & 2+ goals.
There’s not a great deal catching my eye on this game in all honesty, but two men who look to have benefitted from a rest during the summer are Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.
I expect big seasons from both of the Liverpool wide men, who will almost certainly flank Diogo Jota or Roberto Firmino from the start.
Norwich have been using a back five during pre-season, which usually allows Salah and Mane to cause greater havoc in between wing-backs and wide central defenders.
As such, I’m keen on Paddy Power/Betfair’s boost for the two Liverpool forwards to have 2+ shots on target each.
Salah regularly hits this mark, and I expect Mane to prove last season’s dip in form was simply a blip by coming out all guns blazing at a ground he scored the winner at 18 months ago.
Liverpool to win, Over 1 Goal & Under 4 Cards @ EVS (bet365)
Mohamed Salah & Sadio Mane 2+ shots on target each @ 9/2 (Paddy Power/Betfair)
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