Should Gilmour start for City against Seagulls?

Billy Gilmour of Norwich in action during the Premier League match at Carrow Road, NorwichPicture

Will Chelsea loanee Billy Gilmour return to the Norwich starting XI against Brighton? - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd 

Billy Gilmour has pressed his claim for Premier League action while away with Scotland but has he done enough to reclaim a Norwich City starting role against Brighton on Saturday?

The Chelsea loanee has been an unused substitute for three of the Canaries' last four league matches, only starting the disappointing 3-1 home defeat to Watford and the 3-0 loss to Liverpool in the League Cup recently.

Prior to that, the 20-year-old had started the opening three top-flight games; a 3-0 home defeat to Liverpool, 5-0 thrashing at Manchester City and a 2-1 home defeat to Leicester, in which he missed a chance to thwart the attack which led to the Foxes' winner.

He has retained his Scotland starting role though and was hailed for his performance during a crucial 3-2 win over Israel at Hampden Park on Saturday then also helped to edge a 1-0 win in the Faroe Islands on Tuesday to keep Steve Clarke's team on course for a place in the World Cup qualification play-offs.

Gilmour was replaced in injury-time in both games but Canaries midfield colleague Kenny McLean was unused in both games, despite having been chosen ahead of the youngster by Daniel Farke recently.

McLean and Pierre Lees-Melou were chosen either side of the impressive Mathias Normann in midfield for the 0-0 draw at Burnley ahead of the international break and that duo would appear to be Gilmour's chief competition ahead of Saturday.

It should be acknowledged that Scotland were not facing particularly strong opposition though, with Israel ranked 80th in the Fifa rankings and the Faroes down in 114th.

During the two recent Scotland games, Gilmour has averaged the following per game, with his Premier League averages from this season in brackets: 76 passes (53.5), 3 shots (0.3), 1.5 successful dribbles (1.3) and 1 key pass (0.8).

Most Read

In comparison, McLean has averaged the following in his Premier League games this season: 33.3 passes, 1.7 shots, 0.8 dribbles and 0.2 key passes.

While for Lees-Melou, according to, those numbers read: 37.8 passes, 1 shot, 0.7 dribbles and 1 key pass.  

Worth emphasising as well though is McLean's aerial nous, which contributed to keeping his place at Burnley despite errors for decisive goals against both Watford and Everton.

McLean averages 2.3 aerial duels won per game in the top tier this season, whereas Lees-Melou averages 0.7 and Gilmour 0.5, while Lees-Melou averages the most successful tackles on 3, with Gilmour on 2.3 and McLean 1.7.

With Lukas Rupp and Jacob Sorensen also potentially in the selection mix, Farke is preparing to face a Brighton team which have won four of their opening seven games to sit sixth in the table after an impressive start.

City fans will also eagerly be waiting for confirmation that Normann will not be disrupted, after a minor abdominal strain led to the decision to pull the Rostov loanee out of Norway action during the break.

Should Gilmour start against the Seagulls as City search for a first win? Let us know in the poll above

NCFC EXTRA: Scots heap praise on Norwich City midfielder

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter