Norwich City's Premier League opener against Liverpool is far from ideal but return of supporters to Carrow Road will be special
Football without fans is nothing. Those famous words, spoken from the mouth of legendary Celtic manager Jock Stein, have arguably never been more pertinent than over the last 18 months, a time in which stadiums across the country have sat empty as the beautiful game navigated its way through the Covid-19 pandemic. But all of that is about to change.
Tomorrow, Norwich City will welcome a capacity crowd back to Carrow Road for the first time since the 1-0 victory over Leicester on February 28, 2020.
Liverpool are the visitors, for a mouth-watering Premier League opener.
As I discussed last week, preparations for the game have been far from ideal.
The Covid outbreak, which has disrupted large parts of pre-season, continued to be felt as we fell to a 3-0 defeat in our final warm-up game at Newcastle last weekend, with more than half a dozen players absent.
However, those players, including the likes of Grant Hanley and Milot Rashica, are now back with the squad – along with a couple of exciting new additions.
Josh Sargent has signed from Werder Bremen and will provide competition for Teemu Pukki up front.
While the 21-year-old American’s scoring record in the Bundesliga – 13 goals in 72 games – doesn’t set pulses racing, he is a player who has much more to offer, at an age where he is going to improve.
A second arrival this week (although at the time of writing it has yet to be officially confirmed) is Greek international Christos Tzolis.
I won’t claim to know much about the 19-year-old, but he adds to the dynamic mix of talent we have available in the forward areas.
The hope is both players will be available for the visit of Liverpool, one of the more difficult opening day assignments we could have been handed. Whatever happens, it promises to be one of those special Carrow Road occasions, as we return home after far too long away.