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Defence the clear concern for Canaries after eight top-flight games

PUBLISHED: 06:00 09 October 2019 | UPDATED: 09:31 09 October 2019

Moritz Leitner, left, and Ben Godfrey looked defeated after Aston Villa's third goal on Saturday 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Moritz Leitner, left, and Ben Godfrey looked defeated after Aston Villa's third goal on Saturday Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Paul Chesterton

As top-flight teams take a breather, David Freezer takes a look at the Premier League statistics after eight games - and how Norwich City's survival prospects measure up against the country's best teams.

It's proved a bruising return to Premier League life for Norwich City so far, losing more games and conceding more goals than any of their top-flight rivals.

Following a 5-1 home defeat to Aston Villa ahead of the current international break, that's hardly surprising, with Daniel Farke's team second from bottom with eight games completed.

How is the Canaries' style of play holding up though? While a look at the top-flight statistics needs to be tempered by the horrendous injury problems which have caused such disruption, there are some clear areas for improvement.

City have scored 10 goals so far, which is a huge 17 fewer than Manchester City despite, strangely, the reigning champions being one of the two scalps claimed by Farke's players so far - and ranks 12th overall.

However, goals conceded is far more concerning. Those five scored by Villa at Carrow Road on Saturday took the tally to 21, the worst defensive record in the division so far, conceding one more than Watford.

That leaves a worrying average of 2.6 per game which currently has the Canaries on course to concede 99, which would almost certainly result in relegation if that does not improve.

Norwich City head coach Daniel Farke has plenty to consider during the international break 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus ImagesNorwich City head coach Daniel Farke has plenty to consider during the international break Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

In contrast, Fulham conceded the most last season (81) on their way to the drop and that was the most since Fulham, again (85), in 2014.

It would also be more than the disastrous Derby team of 2008, who managed the worst ever return of 11 points and conceded 89 in the process - the most of any team since the division was reduced to 20 teams in 1995.

While that is a hugely concerning comparison, many City fans will hope that defensive woe will not continue once Farke has some defensive reinforcement from the likes of Grant Hanley, Alex Tettey and Tom Trybull.

Norwich have conceded the most shots (17.9 per game) and are averaging the fewest successful aerial duels (10.8) in the division so far, so it's clear the defence has to be improved.

However, Farke's attacking style saw 57 conceded during last season's title-winning success in the Championship, so a balance is needed which still allows the Canaries to offer enough of an attacking threat to win points at the top level.

It's still early but the warning signs are on roller-coaster rides for a good reason.

Defensive midfielder Ibrahim Amadou has had to play at centre-back due to City's injury crisis 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus ImagesDefensive midfielder Ibrahim Amadou has had to play at centre-back due to City's injury crisis Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

- PREMIER LEAGUE STATS

(Highs and lows after eight matches)

- GOALS SCORED

Man City - 27 (1st)

NORWICH - 10 (12th)

Watford - 4 (20th)

- GOALS CONCEDED

Liverpool - 6

NORWICH - 21 (20th)

- SHOTS PER GAME

Man City - 21

NORWICH - 11.3 (14th)

Wolves - 9.5

- SHOTS ON TARGET PER GAME

Man City - 7.5

NORWICH - 4.3 (9th)

Sheff Utd - 2.5

- SHOTS CONCEDED PER GAME

Man City - 6.9

NORWICH - 17.9 (20th)

- TACKLES PER GAME

Leicester - 22.1

NORWICH - 16 (14th)

Bournemouth - 12.9

- INTERCEPTIONS PER GAME

Bournemouth - 15.1

NORWICH - 9.4 (15th)

Man Utd - 8.3

- AERIAL DUELS WON PER GAME

Everton - 23.5

NORWICH - 10.8 (20th)

- SAVES PER GAME

Tottenham - 4.8

NORWICH - 4.4 (2nd)

Liverpool - 1.6

- POSSESSION AV

Man City - 61pc

NORWICH - 51pc (10th)

Newcastle - 37.5pc

- PASS COMPLETION AV

Man City - 89.2pc

NORWICH - 82.5pm (6th)

Burnley - 64.4pc

- DRIBBLES PER GAME

Arsenal - 12.5

NORWICH - 11.4 (joint 3rd)

Burnley - 6.3

- FOULS

Aston Villa - 12.5

NORWICH - 9.9 (15th)

Bournemouth - 8.5

- OFFSIDE

Newcastle - 2.8

NORWICH - 1.5 (12th)

Watford - 1

- FOULED PER GAME

Aston Villa - 14

NORWICH - 11.4 (6th)

Sheff Utd - 7

- YELLOW CARDS

Arsenal - 20

NORWICH - 11 (15th)

Liverpool - 7

- RED CARDS

Everton, Wolves - 2

Bournemouth, Burnley, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Leicester, Liverpool Man City, Man Utd, NORWICH, Watford - 0

*Stats supplied by WhoScored.com

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