Premier League

Everton-Norwich City Preview

Norwich City have not received any bids for midfielder Todd Cantwell, Dean Smith said ahead of Saturday's clash with Everton.

The Canaries host the Toffees in what is a huge clash at the bottom of the table. Should Norwich win, they would close the gap on 15th-placed Everton to six points.

However, Smith's side have lost their last six games without scoring, while the rumours over Cantwell's future have been an unwanted distraction.

Cantwell has missed the last three games and Newcastle United are reportedly among a clutch of clubs interested, but Smith insisted there had been no offers.

"It hasn't gone anywhere at the moment. If we had a bid for Todd then we would have to discuss it and decide what we want to do," he said. "There is always going to be speculation with your better players."

Norwich face an Everton team badly out of form, with Rafael Benitez's team winning just once in the league since they last faced the Canaries back on September 25.

Benitez was an unpopular selection with the fanbase and that only seems to have worsened. This week, star left-back Lucas Digne was sold to Aston Villa after a falling out with the Spaniard, who believes Everton have done good business so far in January, with Anwar El Ghazi joining on loan after the permanent signings of Vitalli Mykolenko and Nathan Patterson.

"The reality is that when you have a player [Digne] who was thinking about leaving, and then you have an offer, the main thing as a manager is to think about my responsibilities to make decisions which are best for the team and the club," Benitez said.

"We brought a couple of young, good, hungry players that I am sure will be good now - but I'm sure will be even better for the future."

Norwich City - Kieran Dowell

Everton academy graduate Kieran Dowell came on in the 65th minute in the 2-0 defeat to West Ham in midweek, though failed to make an impact. He had one shot and touched the ball just nine times. However, he will be eager to show his old club what they are missing.

Everton - Andros Townsend

Andros Townsend, who netted Everton's extra-time winner in the FA Cup tie with Hull City last week, has scored in his last two Premier League games against Norwich, in September 2019 with Crystal Palace and in the reverse fixture this season. He has never scored in three consecutive games against an opponent in the competition.

- Smith is unbeaten in all five Premier League meetings with Everton (W3 D2) and registered a 3-0 win over the Toffees with Aston Villa earlier this season. No manager has ever beaten Everton twice in the same Premier League season with two different clubs.

- Demarai Gray and Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored each of Everton's first four away goals in the Premier League this season (two each). Since then, the Toffees' four away goals in the competition have been netted by different players (Townsend, Alex Iwobi, Salomon Rondon, Jared Branthwaite).

- After taking four points from their first two away league games this season, Everton have picked up just two more from their subsequent seven on the road (D2 L5). The Toffees have conceded the first goal in all seven of these matches.

- Everton have lost their last two Premier League games against promoted sides; only twice in the competition have they had longer losing runs against such sides - four between September 2000 and February 2001, and four between April and November 2019.

- Norwich have lost each of their last 13 Premier League games against the six ever-present sides in the competition, netting just one goal in this run and failing to score in the last 11.

Updated January 14, 2022

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