England legend tips City to win plenty of friends
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Former Newcastle United striker Michael Owen is tipping Norwich City to get off the mark against his old club, but it will be a season of toil for the Premier League new boys.
Owen endured an injury-hit stint on Tyneside late in his career after bursting onto the scene as a teenage sensation at Liverpool before a stunning goalscoring impact at the 1998 World Cup.
The one time European footballer-of-the-year revealed he was impressed with Daniel Farke's squad despite last week's opening defeat at Anfield.
"Norwich played some lovely football at times against Liverpool," he said, previewing this weekend's games in a blog for Bet Victor as their brand ambassador. "But they were naive defensively - although the good news for Daniel Farke is that his side won't face teams with the flair and pace of the Reds every week.
"The Canaries will make plenty of friends with their style of football this season, but I think they will have to settle for a point against Newcastle on Saturday.
"The Magpies kept Arsenal at arm's length for much of their game at St James' Park, but they will still be ruing one moment of defensive madness which allowed the Gunners to take the points."
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Owen has forged a post-game career as a racehorse breeder and prominent football pundit. The England international expects City to struggle to retain their Premier League status, along with Sheffield United and Bournemouth.
"Daniel has largely placed his faith in the Canaries' side who won last season's Championship," he said, prior to the start of the new campaign. "There is a huge gulf in class between the two leagues and I feel Norwich's Premier League stay will be fleeting.
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"Sheffield United will give it a real go in the top-flight this term. Chris Wilder has made several new signings this summer with the return of keeper Dean Henderson on loan from Manchester United the pick.
"Bramall Lane is sure to be rocking on matchdays, but I just feel they will not score enough goals to survive in the Premier League.
"This is Bournemouth's fifth successive season, but they may struggle this term and I feel it will be a long hard winter for the Cherries."