Will Premier League Player of the Month Teemu Pukki be at the party when Norwich City face Burnley at Turf Moor?

Norwich City striker Teemu Pukki scores against Manchester City at Carrow Road
Norwich City striker Teemu Pukki scores against Manchester City at Carrow Road

Eastern Daily Press, The Pink Un and Norwich Evening News reporter David Freezer knows the Clarets won't need to be warned about striker Teemu Pukki.

The 29-year-old Canaries forward can do no wrong at the moment. Last season's leading scorer in the Championship, who remarkably arrived at Carrow Road on a free from Brondby last summer, has just become the first Finn to be awarded a Premier League Player of the Month gong in 15-and-a-half years.

The former Celtic man has enjoyed a dream start to life in the top flight after netting six times and laying on another two goals in the first five fixtures.

Pukki, who joined compatriots Mikael Forssell (March 2004) and Sami Hyppia (November 1999) in receiving the accolade, now has 44 goals in 63 appearances for club and country.

His five goals in Group J of the European Championships has given Finland the chance to qualify for a major tournament for the first time in their history.

"He has been incredible," said Freezer. "Since signing for Norwich City he's scored 44 goals in 63 games for club and country. Those are the kind of figures you'd associate with Messi and Ronaldo.

"He's managed to stay fit for us, which has been vital. Finland are on the verge of qualifying for a major tournament for the first time ever so he's like a God over there as well.

"He's ruthless, he doesn't waste shots, he doesn't waste runs. He's a very intelligent player who has matured a lot."

Pukki is one of the most economical forwards in the country at present. Of the 17 shots he's had in the league, 12 of them have been on target while half of those have hit the back of the net.

Freezer continued: "We'd never heard of him when he first signed, but he's on a ridiculous roll now. It wasn't a total disaster for him at Celtic, but he went out to Denmark and got all his confidence by scoring a lot of goals for Brondby.

"He works really hard, he's a team player, he's not a prima donna at all and he'll take his chances when they come.

"He scored 29 goals last season and he only took one penalty, which he missed, so they all came from open play. His first season at the club was unprecedented.

"He's a special player, he won a lot of awards in the Championship and now he's been voted the Premier League Player of the Month. It's an unbelievable story.

"He's already in Norwich City's top 50 goalscorers after just over 12 months, it's phenomenal. He's just unstoppable."

While James Tarkowski and captain Ben Mee will be tasked with ensuring Pukki doesn't have a party at Turf Moor, it'll be down to Ben Godfrey and makeshift centre back Ibrahim Amadou, on loan from Sevilla, to keep the home side's forward line quiet at the opposite end of the pitch.

The pair kept Sergio Aguero out until the stroke of half-time before Rodri struck for City to reduce the deficit in the 88th minute.

However, they face a different challenge up against the likes of Ashley Barnes, who has scored four times in five games for the Clarets.

"It will be seen as chalk and cheese in relation to the game they've just played, perhaps a case of 'after the Lord Mayor's Show' stylistically, but there's a lot of respect for Burnley because it works," said Freezer.

"Both players can handle the physical side of the game. They're athletes, both 6ft plus, it's their bread and butter.

"There is the option of bringing in Grant Hanley because of his strength in the air, but I'd be very surprised if they broke that partnership up. They had a nice balance between them."

Norwich City boss Daniel Farke, who succeeded Alex Neil in May 2017, is expected to name an unchanged XI for Saturday's game, sticking with the tried and tested 4-2-3-1 formation.

Argentinian Emiliano Buendia, Marco Stiepermann and academy graduate Todd Cantwell will be the three supporting Pukki with Norweigan midfielder Alexander Tettey and Kenny McLean in the holding role.

Tim Krul will then be protected by a back four of Sam Byram, Amadou, Godfrey and 21-year-old full back Jamal Lewis.

Freezer said: "I would be very surprised if he didn't go with 4-2-3-1. He rarely goes away from that, it's what he's stuck with.

"They tightened up a little bit more against Manchester City, the wingers tucked in a bit more and the full backs didn't hit the byeline like usual, but they still scored three good goals."

City's squad might have been decimated through injury, but Farke's Canaries are showing that they're not a side to be taken lightly.

The medical team, headed by Chris Burton, are certainly being stretched with seven first team members currently sidelined, but that didn't prevent the newcomers from springing a surprise against Pep Guardiola's defending champions.

Midfielder Onel Hernandez, who became the first Cuban to feature in the English top flight when replacing Tom Trybull against Liverpool, isn't expected back until after Christmas having suffered a freak injury at home.

Defender Timm Klosse, signed from Wolfsburg for nearly £10m more than three years ago, is out after picking up a knock away at Crawley in the Carabao Cup, while Christoph Zimmermann will also miss the rest of the year having sustained a knee injury against West Ham United at the London Stadium.

Trybull, 26, also picked up a knock against the Hammers and the midfielder is unlikely to feature again until after October's international break.

England Under 21 international Max Aarons, voted the EFL Player of the Season for 2018/19, has received a similar prognosis to Trybull after picking up an injury when making a goal-saving tackle in a man of the match display for the Young Lions against Kosovo.

Bosnian international Mario Vrancic and one-time Borussia Dortmund and Lazio middle man Moritz Leitner are both struggling to make the weekend with calf injuries, though the German is more likely to make a return to the 18-man squad at Turf Moor.

Former Blackburn Rovers defender Hanley returned to the bench for the 3-2 win over City and Patrick Roberts comes back in to the thinking after being ineligible to play against his parent club.

"It's been ridiculous," Freezer continued. "Adam Idah, an 18-year-old striker, was on the bench.

"He's a highly rated Republic of Ireland Under 21 international, who has scored an incredible amount of goals for Norwich's Under 23s. He might well be needed."

Player availability might be at a premium, but last term's Championship winners have the personnel, a style and an identity that could see them survive at this level.

Saturday's visitors, who averaged just over two goals per game when winning the title last season, have already found the net nine times this time around, picking up six points in the process, and they're quickly becoming a team to be wary of.

"Match of the Day were picking out the passages of play that helped us escape City's press," Freezer said. "They focused on that ability to play their way out of trouble when they were deep. That comes as no surprise to Norwich City fans.

"It's what we saw every game last season. The groundwork was laid when Daniel Farke first came to the club, when we finished mid-table. That was the blueprint when he came in, it's what he was implementing."