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PL friendly roundup: Liverpool win; Everton, Saints, Norwich draw

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A roundup of all of Sunday’s preseason action involving Premier League teams, wherever in the world they might be preparing for the 2019-20 season…

[ MORE: Sunday’s transfer rumor roundup | Saturday | Friday ]

Bradford City 1-3 Liverpool

James Milner scored twice — once from open play and once from the penalty spot — as Liverpool continued the long, slow build toward their PL opener against Norwich City on Aug. 9. 19-year-old Rhian Brewster continued to make noise this preseason, as he followed up his brace against League One side Tranmere Rovers during the week with another goal against another League One side on Sunday.

Alex Oxlade Chamberlain started and played 45 minutes, as did all 10 outfield players before Jurgen Klopp made wholesale changes at halftime. Adam Lallana and Nathaniel Clyne, both of whom have been linked with moves away from Anfield this summer, also started.

Arminia Bielefeld 2-2 Norwich City

Dennis Srbeny and Josip Drmic scored a goal each for Norwich City, but the newly promoted PL side conceded an 88th-minute equalizer away to German second-division side Arminia Bielefeld.

The Canaries suffered injuries to a pair of key players on Sunday, with both Louis Thompson and Ben Godfrey being forced off. Head coach Daniel Farke indicated after the game that Thompson suffered a hamstring strain, while Godfrey left the stadium on crutches.

Other PL preseason results

Sion 0-0 Everton
Altach 1-1 Southampton

Norwich City adds Switzerland international Drmic on free transfer

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Norwich City has added a new star striker to a unit which produced 93 goals in the Championship last season.

Josip Drmic will join Swiss national teammate Timm Klose with the Canaries for the next three seasons, hoping to bring his Bundesliga and international experience to a Premier League safety campaign.

[ MORE: Johannsson to MLS? ]

Drmic turns 27 next month, and scored two goals in five appearances for Borussia Monchengladbach last season. He has 31 goals and seven assists in 107 Bundesliga appearances between Gladbach, Hamburger SV, Bayer Leverkusen, and Nurnberg.

Coach Daniel Farke got 30 goals from target forward Teemu Pukki, who plays a similar role to Drmic and has plenty of top flight experience with Celtic and Schalke amongst others.

Drmic can also operate on the wing, usually left over right, and has featured in both the 2014 and 2018 World Cup. From Canaries.co.uk:

“I’m going to do everything and give 100% on the pitch. I will be ready to give everything for the club. My job is scoring but I also want to help my team and help us be successful.

“When I first came to Norwich, the first thing I noticed was how kind everybody was. It’s given me a lot of positive energy and I’m excited to see what happens.”

Between Pukki and Drmic, Norwich can have faith that its well-prepared to have an answer up top.

Norwich City adds Roberts on loan from Man City

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Norwich City has turned to the Premier League champions in its bid to gain traction in the top flight.

The Canaries have added Patrick Roberts on loan from Manchester City, the 22-year-old’s fifth loan stint in five years.

[ MORE: 3 key battles in UCL Final ]

The winger managed an assist in 21 matches for La Liga’s Girona this season, and is two seasons removed from an 11-goal, 19-assist campaign with Celtic.

Roberts joined Man City from Fulham after the 2014-15 season and appeared three times for the first team before joining the Scottish champions for two loan stints.

He says he was swayed by Canaries’ boss Daniel Farke, via Canaries.co.uk:

“The manager was very enthusiastic when he spoke to me. He really enjoys the way I play and that’s a big boost of confidence for me. It’s good to have someone in your corner to give you the belief and opportunity to play and in return I’ll give 100% to Norwich and everyone at the Club to repay that belief.”

We doubt Roberts figured it’d take this long to get a chance at Premier League football when he left Fulham. Let’s see if he finds his offensive form at Carrow Road.

The 2 Robbies: Man City pass the Burnley test to go top

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Robbie Mustoe and Robbie Earle discuss another interesting weekend in the Premier League that saw Liverpool and Man City continue their incredible fight for the title.

Liverpool put five past Huddersfield (01:40) and Man City passed the Burnley test to go top (09:45). Is this the slowest race for the top-four in PL history (18:40)? Both Tottenham and Arsenal lose while Man United and Chelsea had to settle for a point each (31:25).

Then, they look ahead to next season and talk about the new teams we can expect to see in the PL. Both Norwich City and Sheffield United have confirmed their place in the top flight (53:49). Finally, they take a dive into the bizarre goings on at Elland Road. Did Marcelo Bielsa make the right call by giving Aston Villa a goal (56:45)?

If you’re left wanting more after all that check out our break down on the recent Arsenal defensive struggles (WATCH HERE). The latest episode of the Premier League Tactics Session explores how Leicester City capitalized on Arsenal’s poor defending.

To listen to more lively conversations and passionate debate from Robbie Earle and Robbie Mustoe, subscribe to The 2 Robbies Podcast on Apple Podcasts or anywhere you listen to podcasts.

Click here for The 2 Robbies archive ]

Follow them on Twitter @The2Robbies

Norwich City promoted to Premier League

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Norwich City finally cemented their place in the Premier League with a 2-1 win over Blackburn Rovers at Carrow Road on Saturday.

This is the Canaries’ third promotion since 2014, and next season will be the club’s first in the top flight since finishing 19th in 2015-16.

Marco Stiepermann and Mario Vrancic staked Norwich to a 2-0 lead and the Canaries controlled chances and the ball despite allowing a concession to Lewis Travis two minutes after their second goal. The Vrancic goal was especially emphatic, a howitzer from a good distance out.

Sheffield United also looks set for the Premier League after beating Ipswich Town 2-0 in their penultimate match of the season. The Blades have a six-point lead on third place Leeds United, who has two matches left and would concede second with anything other than a win over Aston Villa on Sunday morning.

The Playoff Race

Only one spot hasn’t been sewn up in the promotion playoffs. Leeds United has a miniscule chance at automatic promotion, but should finish third. West Bromwich Albion has seized a spot as has Villa.

The last spot will belong to either Derby County, the current sixth place side, Middlesbrough, or Bristol City.

Derby and Boro each have 70 points, which Derby having two matches left to Boro’s one and a six-goal advantage in differential. Bristol has 66 points and has to win both of its matches and get help.