Norwich are set to appoint Dean Smith as their new head coach at Carrow Road imminently.
In the meantime, it will be interesting to explore the possible starting eleven that the former Villa boss will set up with in his first fixture when the Canaries host Southampton next Saturday afternoon.
Daniel Farke lost his job at Norwich after the side gained their first three-pointer against Brentford last weekend, with pressure mounting on the German coach after an abysmal start to the season that has left the side sitting at the bottom of the table.
Possibly the most notable and unpopular decision that Farke made when setting up his Norwich side this season, was the snub of two young and promising players that have been destined for greatness in their careers – Todd Cantwell and Billy Gilmour.
Norwich loan player, Gilmour, has been hailed “world-class” by former Rangers boss Mark Warburton whilst Cantwell has been on the radar of top Premier League clubs like Arsenal and Liverpool for some time now.
Smith is sure to have his eyes on both promising players to place into his starting eleven, as both possess qualities that emulate those of Smith’s Aston Villa prodigy, Jack Grealish.
This would see the likes of Kieran Dowell and Kenny McLean potentially axed from the side if Smith did decide to go with the two popular youngsters, however, it may be the right move considering the lack of presence and possession Norwich have displayed in their Premier League campaign so far. Heading into the latest international break, they’d enjoyed just 43.3% of the ball in the top-flight.
With that in mind, this is how Football Fancast predicts Smith’s best starting XI could be once he’s settled in at Carrow Road…
With a typical Norwich 4-3-3 formation, we predict that Smith will line up in a similar, if not identical, set up as his 11th place finishing Aston Villa side of last season.
The ex-Villa boss has never really played with ball-playing defenders with his first choice at Villa being Mings and Konsa, which as a result, we predict that he will drop Ozan Kabak out of his team.
Instead, their incoming boss may opt to play a pairing of Grant Hanley and Ben Gibson who offer more experience and defensive qualities than the young Turkish centre back, especially in a regulation dog fight.
The 50-year-old ex-Brentford boss is yet to confirm his acceptance of the new role but is expected to become head coach in a matter of days with a rumoured two and a half year contract on the table.