Crystal Palace 2-0 Norwich City
Goals: Luka Milivojević (£6.7m), Andros Townsend (£5.7m)
Assists: James McArthur (£5.3m), Wilfried Zaha (£6.8m)
Bonus Points: Milivojević x3, Joel Ward (£4.5m) x2, Vicente Guaita (£ 5.0m) x2
For the third away match in a row, Norwich were knocked by an enforced defensive change in the first half.
The Gameweek 4 trip to West Ham saw Christoph Zimmermann (£4.5m) taken off with a foot problem, the Gameweek 6 visit to Burnley resulted in groin injury for Alex Tettey (£4.5m) and it was Ralf Fährmann (£4.4m) who drew the short straw at Crystal Palace.
Coming into Gameweek 7 with concerns over a groin problem, and Tim Krul (£4.5m) ruled out for a couple of weeks, the German goalkeeper started the match but had to come off after conceding a penalty in the 21st minute.
“Ralf Fährmann felt something after his first contact with the ball. He saved a cross and felt the pain again and had to come off. It’s not easy when two of your goalkeepers are injured and you have to make a change early in the game, but Michael McGovern was concentrated and focused.” – Daniel Farke
While there is no update on Fährmann’s present condition, a long-term absence for him, with Krul out too, could see Michael McGovern (£4.0m) become the only starting goalkeeper at his price point.
He came close to securing clean sheet points at Selhurst Park. Entering the field in the 22nd minute he was eligible for them as he played 68 minutes – but was finally beaten in the 88th by Andros Townsend (£5.7m).
So many absences for Daniel Farke’s men, especially when they are picked up during their away matches, is making it hard for us to truly assess Norwich’s capabilities on the road.
“At this level, as a newly promoted side and with so many players injured it’s difficult to dominate a game. You have to help yourself when you’re on the front foot. Each and every game is important. Of course, our biggest concern is the injury situation. It is a difficult situation but we must work on the small details. The only way is hard work.” – Daniel Farke
This 2-0 defeat extended Teemu Pukki‘s (£7.2m) goalless run away from Carrow Road to three in a row, without an attacking return on the road since the Gameweek 1 defeat at Liverpool.
The Finnish international did have a one good chance against Crystal Palace but was largely kept quiet by centre-backs Gary Cahill (£4.5m) and Martin Kelly (£4.1m).
That said, the attacking midfield triplet of Todd Cantwell (£5.0m), Marco Stiepermann (£5.4m) and Emi Buendía (£6.0m) looked lively for spells in the first half, fading in the second.
Cantwell, who, despite his best efforts, is yet to register a single attacking return away from home this season, went close to ending that run of bad luck but an excellent sliding block from Kelly denied him.
By all accounts both Pukki and Cantwell still had chances between them in Gameweek 7 which may be enough to convince their owners to hold onto them for next weekend.
Gameweek 8 brings Norwich back to Carrow Road, where they have averaged 2.7 goals per game this season, while Pukki and Cantwell have scored 13.3 and 7.7 points per match in front of their own fans respectively.
Meanwhile, upcoming opponents Aston Villa are yet to keep a clean sheet on the road in 2019/20, conceding a total of seven league goals across three away matches since achieving promotion into the top-flight.
“The players didn’t let me down today, they tried everything and gave their heart. We just weren’t effective enough in using our chances. Carrow Road will be a fortress again next week. We have to go through this difficult time together.” – Daniel Farke
Farke will be hoping he can receive some positive news on the injury front this week as his squad still contains nine FPL flags.
Encouragingly, he got Max Aarons (£4.4m) back from injury against Crystal Palace, who slotted back in at right-back after a two-game absence.
“Max Aarons was solid. It was important for him to have these minutes and to be back. I was pleased with him. It’s the first piece of good news in several weeks that he is back. We need the quality and experience of everyone as quickly as possible.” – Daniel Farke
However, Farke will be sweating over Jamal Lewis (£4.5m) who fell on his elbow at Selhurst Park and is reportedly at risk of being ruled out long-term with a broken arm.
“I’m a bit more concerned about Jamal Lewis because he fell on his elbow and that could be a major injury. Ben Godfrey got cut and was bleeding a lot, but nothing more.” – Daniel Farke
Crystal Palace increasingly becoming a side worth trusting in their home matches, especially at the back.
In four league outings at Selhurst Park this season they have conceded just one goal and are unbeaten there since April.
Were it not for Diogo Jota‘s (£6.2m) late goal in Gameweek 6, Palace would have clean sheets in all home matches played in 2019/20.
That might encourage interest in the likes of Cahill and Ward although the next three visitors to south London are Manchester City, Leicester and Liverpool.
Meanwhile, Kelly was back in for the injured Mamadou Sakho (£5.0m) although it’s hard to say if he’s nailed on to start every match considering that the former Liverpool man is reportedly not going to be out for long.
“Mamadou Sakho is injured, but hopefully it is not an injury which will keep him out for months, so we’re very fortunate in that area. Of course, there are areas of our team where the competition for places and ability I have to replace injured players is a lot more hazardous.” – Roy Hodgson
That may be of some encouragement to a West Ham side likely to be without Lukasz Fabianski (£5.0m) for at least the next few weeks.
The central midfielder picked up his fifth yellow card of the campaign in Gameweek 7 so will now miss the next match.
“He’s enormously valuable, that’s why he’s captain of the team. He’s been a massive influence on and off the field, particularly on the field, with the way he plays and his understanding of the game.” – Roy Hodgson
Without him on Saturday afternoon, the Eagles may have to work extra hard to add to their two away goals scored this season.
Wilfried Zaha (£6.8m) will naturally be turned to for threat, even if he has just one goal in his last 19 at home.
The Ivory Coast international was instrumental in the win over Norwich. He was the one who played the ball into James McArthur (£5.1m), who on the penalty, while it was Zaha’s movement that helped him set-up Townsend’s late clincher.
Crystal Palace XI (4-5-1): Guaita; van Aanholt, Cahill, Kelly, J Ward; Schlupp, Kouyaté (Townsend 70′), Milivojević, McArthur (McCarthy 79′), Zaha; Ayew (Meyer 90′).
Norwich City XI (4-2-3-1): Fährmann (McGovern 22′); J Lewis, Godfrey, Amadou, Aarons; McLean, Leitner; Cantwell (Roberts 81′), Stiepermann (Drmic 66′), Buendía; Pukki.
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