Talking Tactics

Rashica ready to step up in key battle with Burnley

By Adrian Clarke 6 Apr 2022

Adrian Clarke says Norwich winger's speed and skill can cause problems against Clarets

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Adrian Clarke looks at key tactical points and players who can be decisive in Matchweek 32.

Norwich City

If Norwich are to avoid relegation, Sunday's home match against Burnley really is a must-win encounter.

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Norwich have gone eight matches without victory but under Dean Smith they have fared reasonably well against their immediate rivals at the foot of the table.

The Canaries' last two victories came in January against Watford and Everton and before those rare successes they also picked up a point at Newcastle United.

Failure to claim all three points against Burnley at Carrow Road would leave Norwich in a precarious position with only seven fixtures remaining, so the pressure is on to deliver a big performance.

A return of only one goal and two assists from 17 starts for summer signing Milot Rashica does not look especially impressive at first glance but the talented winger is very much a key man for Smith's side.

Rashica's goal v Liverpool

Rashica, who scored twice for his country Kosovo during the recent international break, is the Canaries' most imaginative creator.

At his best on the left wing, where he likes to cut in on his stronger right foot, Rashica has the ability to test any full-back with his speed, skill and technical quality.

He chopped inside to score with a deflected strike from distance at Liverpool and is always prepared to try his luck from outside the box.

Of his 34 shots this term, 21 have been from distance.

Norwich attacking stats per 90
Player Open-play crosses Player Chances created
Rashica 3.28 Rashica 1.48
Aarons 1.65 Gilmour 1.37
Lees-Melou 1.19 Williams 0.93
Player Shots Player Fouls won in final 1/3
Rashica 1.80 Rashica 0.42
Pukki 1.63 Pukki 0.39
Normann 1.47 Normann 0.39

The 25-year-old has not found it easy to deliver consistent goal contributions but in general play he is Norwich's main man inside the opposition half.

Rashica leads the per 90 minute rankings for shots, chances created, open-play crosses, and fouls won inside the final third.

He is also a superb corner taker, providing a great set-piece assist for Andrew Omobamidele at home to Leeds United.

Top speedsters and sprinters
Player Mins played Top speed km/h
Rashica 1,702 35.7
Placheta 447 35.4
Aarons 2,400 34.8
Player Mins played Sprints/90 
Pukki 2,541 565/20.0
Rashica 1,702 364/19.2
Sargent 1,564 298/17.1

Rashica possesses a terrific turn of pace and has been clocked at 35.7km/h this term which makes him the Smith's quickest player.

He is also a bundle of energy, always looking to make vertical sprints inside the opposition half.

With the ball at his feet, or when it is played in front of him to run onto, Rashica can provide Burnley with problems.

Advanced role again?

The former Werder Bremen star operated in a more advanced role alongside leading scorer Teemu Pukki in the 0-0 draw at Brighton & Hove Albion last weekend - so it will be interesting to see where he starts against the Clarets.

Rashica missed a big chance to score the winner in that contest and will no doubt be eager to make amends in what promises to be a nervy relegation six-pointer.

With a victory so important to the hosts this could be one of the most attack-minded tactical displays we have seen from Norwich all season.

In moments where they peg Burnley back inside their own half, the Canaries will rely on Rashica's quality to help get them a goal.

This would be the perfect time for him to produce a statement performance.

Also in this series

See: Foden's pace and movement can torment Liverpool again

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