‘I firmly believe we can do that’ – Pukki is sure Norwich City can thrive in the Premier League

Teemu Pukki has been in the thick of the action for Norwich City during pre-season Picture: Paul Che

Teemu Pukki has been in the thick of the action for Norwich City during pre-season Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Teemu Pukki is feeling confident that Norwich City will prove they can handle the quality of the Premier League, as the big opening night against Liverpool edges ever closer.

The Canaries continue their top-flight preparations with a friendly against Championship opposition when they face Brentford in a behind-closed-doors encounter at Colney on Wednesday afternoon.

Star striker Pukki opened his pre-season account with two goals during City's pre-season tour of Germany, including in a 2-1 win over his former club Schalke on Friday.

"It was a great last season," the Finland international said. "I know it's going to be getting harder all the time when you go into the Premier League but it's a chance for all of us to prove that we can do it at this level - and I firmly believe we can do that."

Pukki scored a superb 36 goals in 56 matches in all competitions for club and country last season, having joined City on a free transfer after four seasons with Danish club Brondby.

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Despite a few injury issues, Daniel Farke's team have made a solid start to building on their success but should have beaten Bundesliga side Schalke more comfortably, despite having to mostly rely on counter-attacks.

That work continues against the Bees (4.30pm), with the Finn continuing: "It's still fitness-wise but we couldn't play our possession game like we want to (against Schalke), so we need to be better at that.

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"Brentford will be a good test for us, they have been signing some new players so it's going to be a tough game, which is good for us."

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A trip to another Championship side, Luton Town, follows on Saturday, ahead of Carrow Road friendlies against top-flight opposition in Italian side Atalanta next Tuesday and French club Toulouse the following Saturday.

It's all leading to that big night on Friday, August 9, when the promoted Canaries and European champions Liverpool meet in the Premier League's televised curtain-raised - a fixture which pleased Pukki when it was revealed.

"I was excited," he added. "A lot of my family are Liverpool fans so it's nice to start the Premier League there, some of them are actually coming to see the game so that's nice."

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