Connor Southwell: Why it could be stick over twist for Daniel Farke this weekend

Norwich Head Coach Daniel Farke gives the thumbs up to the traveling support at the end of the Premi

Will it be stick or twist for Norwich City head coach Daniel Farke this weekend? - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Many Norwich City fans may be hoping Daniel Farke opts to shuffle his pack against Leicester on Saturday, but the Canaries head coach may decide to err on the side of caution. 

Several players made a compelling case for their inclusion this weekend with impressive individual performances in the Carabao Cup thrashing over Bournemouth in midweek. 

As Farke himself has explained, there's plenty of mitigation in City's opening two defeats. A disjointed pre-season hasn't helped an already tough-looking start to life back in the Premier League. 

Cup progress has injected optimism back into the veins of Canaries supporters after a disappointing display against Pep Guardiola's football superpower. That has prompted a debate in social circles about who is set to get the nod this weekend. 

Given how Farke has operated throughout his tenure at City, wholesale changes are unlikely. 

Don't be surprised to turn up to Carrow Road on Saturday and see a large portion of those names involved in the Manchester City game return to the fray. If that is to be the case, nobody should be expressing a profound disappointment. 

After all, given the manner of the performance against Manchester City and the response that followed against Bournemouth in midweek, Farke will keen to see a similar response from those who have featured in the two defeats so far. 

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That is the purpose of competition. To push players to improve. 

Milot Rashica and Todd Cantwell will have been watching Christos Tzolis' performance knowing that he is hot on their heels should they fail to produce the goods against Leicester City. 

Pukki, who will almost certainly return at the weekend, has a real competitor for his starting spot in Josh Sargent. 

But within that, Farke has to manage those situations cautiously and is a coach who likes to trust his players to repay his faith but isn't afraid to make the big calls when needed. 

Being dropped for a poor performance against Liverpool and Manchester City could be seen as overly harsh by some. Farke will have to manage those individuals cautiously in the next few weeks.

In Tzolis' situation, it is worth noting that Farke drip-fed Emi Buendia minutes before handing him his first City start in September 2018, over a month into the season. The hype surrounding the Greek international will make that a tougher task for City's head coach, but he isn't someone who plugs into the noise. 

Farke will, however, be acutely aware of the calls that will come his way if Tzolis isn't handed his Premier League debut and the game is heading in a direction away from the Canaries. 

In the back of his mind will be the evidence that those players are raring to be involved, some of them may even be handed that opportunity sooner rather than later. But the group of players involved against Liverpool and Manchester City will be forced to show a response against a Premier League side.

That could drive the competition level even higher. 

Christos Tzolis thanks Josh Sargent for the assist as they celebrate City's fifth against Bournemout

Christos Tzolis and Josh Sargent impressed during Norwich City's 6-0 thrashing of Bournemouth on Tuesday.

Farke won't be nursing a selection headache this week, he will be excited about what he currently has at his disposal. Something that he probably didn't possess two seasons ago, genuine options that are pushing hard to get into his thoughts. 

Kenny McLean is pushing Pierre Lees-Melou. Sargent is pushing Pukki. Jacob Sorensen is pushing Billy Gilmour. Everybody is aware of what that did for Tim Krul two years ago. 

In many aspects, that will be more powerful than anything Farke could deliver in a pre-match speech. 

City's boss is one who offers tough love rather than free gifts. He favours continuity and there is an argument that the opening two fixtures against sides regarded as among the best in the world may not be the best marker to truly gauge the ability of those players who have started in the top-flight so far. 

The performance of Tzolis, Sargent, McLean and Brandon Williams have posed questions of their head coach. It's now up to him to find the correct way to play that without losing that competitive edge he has in the squad currently. 

On Tuesday, he handed Lukas Rupp a start after hauling him off against Manchester City at half time. He gave Dimitris Giannoulis 20 minutes from the bench after he struggled to get to grips with Gabriel Jesus. It was clever management and allowed the pair to shake off their disappointment quickly. 

There is a positive aspect, Leicester will be unsure what to prepare for. Rashica's pace can cause problems, just ask Trent Alexander-Arnold. Cantwell's technical proficiency or Tzolis' ability to stretch the game or drop deep and link play, both have the potential to cause problems for defences at this level.

Brennan Camp of Bournemouth and Brandon Williams of Norwich in action during the Carabao Cup Second

Can Brandon Williams force his way into Daniel Farke's thoughts this weekend? - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Brendan Rodgers will be forced to prepare for the possibility that any of them could start.

Training at Colney will have contained an extra ounce of intensity this week. 

Come an hour before kick-off at Carrow Road on Saturday, it may be that Farke makes very few changes to the side that played at the Etihad. But it will not be the end of the conversation.