Norwich’s “unknown quantity” could prove key to their hopes of Premier League survival next season, according to former winger Darren Eadie.
The Canaries are preparing for life back in the top flight for the first time since 2015-2016 after Daniel Farke guided them to the Sky Bet Championship title.
Tackling England’s elite will be a new experience for the German head coach and the majority of his squad, which was driven on by the 29 league goals of Finland forward Teemu Pukki.
Eadie came through the youth ranks at the Norfolk club, going on to make more than 200 appearances between 1993 and 1999 before joining Leicester.
The 44-year-old feels the make up of the Canaries current squad – with new deals already in place for the likes of Pukki and Argentinian playmaker Emi Buendia – can ruffle a few feathers as they bid to stay clear of the relegation battle.
“It could be a bit of a blessing that not many of them have played in the Premier League, so they can go into it with no fear and I think that will be a good thing, particularly at the start of the season,” Eadie told PA.
“They will soon realise what it is all about in terms of the step up in quality, which is massive, but they deserve that opportunity and the club have been rewarding the players who got them there with new contracts.
“They will surprise a few – other players won’t know much about Norwich either because they are all so new to the Premier League and won’t understand them, which sometimes can help.
“Especially in the first half of the season, teams will not have worked them out yet.
“They won’t know too much about your players, whereas I could look at any other Premier League team and tell you how they are going to play, what their strengths are. Norwich, though, will be a bit of an unknown quantity.”
Eadie feels the Canaries must be ready to step things up in all areas to meet the Premier League challenges ahead – which start against European champions Liverpool at Anfield on August 9.
“The approach of the opposition will be very different compared to what they are used to – and last season they conceded quite a few goals in the Championship, as well as scoring plenty,” said Eadie, who is a presenter with online football and food magazine show FC Kitchen.
“We all know how punishing the Premier League can be, given an opportunity those players will take it.
“Even if teams come to Carrow Road and play one up front, it is going to be guys like Mo Salah or Sergio Aguero, so the quality is at a different level.”
:: A new series of the FC Kitchen show on YouTube is starting in August – just in time for the football season.
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