2015/16 season preview: Norwich City

800px-Norwich_City.svgAfter just one season in the Championship, Norwich clinched an immediate return to the top-flight after a play-off victory over Middlesbrough. Will previous Premier League experience by the key to survival or are they heading straight back down?

Manager: Alex Neil
Home ground: Carrow Road
Last season: 3rd in Championship, promoted via play-offs
Highest EPL accolade: 3rd (1993)

Star Man

Cameron Jerome scored 18 league goals for the Canaries last season image: theguardian.com

Cameron Jerome scored 18 league goals for the Canaries last season
image: theguardian.com

After joining the Canaries from Stoke last August, Cameron Jerome had no problems settling in at Norwich as the striker fired home 18 goals in the Championship last season which was a crucial part in Norwich’s immediate return to the top-flight.

However, the 28-year-old has never really performed at the Premier League level with 11 goals while at Birmingham in the 2009-10 season his highest top-flight tally. Norwich fans will hope that his excellent season last year can continue and prove he has what it takes to perform at this level.

Two seasons ago, Norwich were relegated due to misfiring strikers but manager Alex Neil will hope to avoid a repeat of that. He proved to be an inspired signing for Norwich last season but can Jerome inspire them to Premier League survival?

Key Transfers

IN
Graham Dorrans (West Brom – Undisclosed), Youssouf Mulumbu (West Brom – Free), Robbie Brady (Hull – £7m), Andre Wisdom (Liverpool – Season loan), Jake Kean (Blackburn – Free)

OUT
Mark Bunn (Aston Villa – Free), Luciano Becchio (Belgrano – Free), Carlos Cuellar, Javier Garrido (both released)

One to Watch

Up and coming youngster Nathan Redmond will be hoping for a big season this year, as the 21-year-old hopes to show all the other Premier League clubs exactly what he’s got and become England’s next breakout star.

Natah Redmond contrbuted four goals to Norwich's promotion image: telegraph.co.uk

Nathan Redmond contributed four goals to Norwich’s promotion
image: telegraph.co.uk

The Birmingham lad definitely has the potential to run this Norwich team on his own and while this Norwich team is tipped for an immediate return to the Championship, Redmond will hope to improve on his game and help Norwich retain their Premier League status come May.

Redmond has got wicked pace and is still improving as a footballer but Norwich fans will hope for an inspired season from their rising star. Together with new signing Robbie Brady down the left-wing, the Canaries could spring a few surprises this season.

Best XI

Ruddy

Martin   Bennett   Bassong   Olsson

Howson    Mulumbu

Redmond     Hoolahan         Brady

Jerome

Prediction: 19th

Of the three newly promoted sides, Norwich know this league better than the rest which could prove to be an advantage over Bournemouth and Watford. However, Alex Neil will need to invest more into this squad or face an instant return to the Championship.

Norwich bounced straight back after relegation in May 2014 image: skysports.com

Norwich bounced straight back after relegation in May 2014
image: skysports.com

They have some decent players many who know this league very well such the likes of goalkeeper John ruddy and new signing Robbie Brady, but they are still just lack that something special. Their strikers are a worry and although Jerome, Lewis Grabban and Gary Hooper scored 42 goals between them last season, I don’t think they are cut out for this level.

Alex Neil is also a manager heading into the unknown and although he deserves a lot of credit for turning Norwich’s season around replacing former boss Neil Adams in January, he could be in for a tough season. Sorry Norwich fans, I don’t think the Canaries can stay up.

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