Norwich City may have gone into this season as favourites to be relegated but their injury crisis is what has ensured that.
All season, they’ve struggled with their defenders facing injury. The break due to COVID-19 should have been a blessing for the team.
The 100-day pause gave Timm Klose time to recover. However, they’ve picked up more injuries.
They’ve conceded 55 goals thanks to their injury crisis – an average of 1.83 per game. Having only managed to score 25, they have the largest negative goal difference in the league.
An Injury Crisis at Norwich City
Where it Began
Klose got injured at the very start of the season, against Crawley Town in the first round of the EFL Cup.
Christoph Zimmerman was also injured early on, leaving Ben Godfrey and Grant Hanley alone on the back-line.
Things Were Looking Up
Zimmerman returned from injury, though he has had a couple of short-term problems over the course of the season.
Unfortunately for Norwich, Godfrey then picked up an injury. He even had to have hernia surgery during the October international break. He was forced to return to the game before planned because the team had no one to fill his place in the line-up.
Alexander Tetty did his best to deputise for Godfrey, but being a defensive midfielder, it was always a makeshift change.
At times during the season, the Canaries have not had a single centre-back fit to play. In other games, Daniel Farke has had to field the fittest of the un-fit just to fill his starting 11.
Right-back Max Aarons and left-back Jamal Lewis have both been injured too. Fortunately for Norwich, not at the same time.
Their one spare full-back, Sam Byram, is now out for the rest of the season due to a hamstring injury. Both Hanley and Zimmerman will also not see action on the pitch until next season.
Aarons had on-pitch treatment during the game versus Southampton. It looks as though he’ll be fit to play for the rest of the season. No one on the bench would be able to directly replace the 20-year-old.
What Has This All Meant?
Norwich have been unable to play to the weaknesses of their opposition. With a lack of options, they’ve not been able to mix up their system.
This means that partnerships have not been formed between the strongest players. They have not been able to create a style of play that works best for them.
As a result, they’ve managed to concede a massive 55 goals so far this season.
It’s statistically possible for the Canaries to avoid relegation but they’re probably just hoping to make it to the end of the season without any more injuries.