To be played on Saturday 19th October 2013 at 15:00. Venue: Emirates Stadium, London
Last season 3-1
Arsenal will be looking to keep their place at the top of the Premier League when they face Chris Houghton’s Norwich City side at the Emirates Stadium. The Canaries so nearly caused an upset in this fixture last year when the lead up until the 85th minute before three quick-fire goals condemned them to a defeat.
You can expect Norwich to sit back for most of the game and absorb the Arsenal pressure while trying to threaten from counter attacks and set pieces.
Arsenal will be waiting on the fitness of Mesut Özil after the German picked up a knock to his knee while on international with his country. Özil injured his knee in their win against Sweden but it isn’t thought to be too serious although his manager Arsene Wenger will have the luxury of resting him before the big game against Borussia Dortmund in Tuesday.
Santi Cazorla may be in line to make his return to the field after being out since the last international break with an ankle injury. For Norwich Anthony Pilkington will be hopeful he can overcome a knock in time to play on Saturday afternoon at the Emirates.
Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud are joint top scorers for Arsenal with 4 goals, whilst Johan Elmander tops Norwich’s charts with 2 goals.
Arsenal’s home record: Played 3, Won 2, Drawn 0, Lost 1, Goals For 5, Goals Against 3
Norwich’s away record: Played 3, Won 1, Drawn 0, Lost 2, Goals For 1, Goals Against 3
Arsenal had 56% of the possession in their last match. A 1-1 draw at West Brom
Norwich had 45% of the possession in their last match. A 3-1 loss at home to Chelsea
Arsenal’s last six games: 5 wins, 1 Draw
Norwich’s last six games: 2 wins, 4 Losses
Five players to watch:
Wilshere has showed signs of getting back to full fitness and back to his best. He didn’t play a huge amount on Tuesday night against Poland so he should be well rested for the return of the Premier League. With the injuries he’s such a big part of Arsenal’s team but I’m sure he will benefit from some appearances off the bench. Arsenal will see a lot of the ball on Saturday so he will needed to create chances and retain possession.
Since arriving at the club in the summer of 2011 Arteta has played a big role in club’s pursuit of a top four finish. He is just coming back from injury so he might not start but if he does he will bring a calming presence to the Gunners’ midfield. His role will be important as he can free up the likes of Wilshere, Özil and Cazorla to create and score goals.
Jenkinson didn’t have the best of games against West Brom and will be looking to improve on that and stake his claim for a first team spot while Bacary Sagna is out with an injury. He’s still only young it is expected that he will have some struggles but in his short time at the club he has improved his defending and attacking dramatically.
The young winger has impressed so far this season with his performances and will have a chance to show what he can do against one of the Premier League’s big teams, it would be a great opportunity for him to showcase his talents in front of a big crowd and maybe even the England manager Roy Hodgson.
Bassong will have to be on top form on Saturday if Norwich want to come away from the game with any points. The Canaries defence will be tested from start until finish and it will be crucial that he stays focused and in position because any mistake will be capitalised on by the Arsenal forwards.
Last time they met
This game took a while to get going but once it did it turned into a very exciting contest. Arsenal needed the win to keep their pursuit of a top four spot on track but it was the Canaries that struck first through Michael Turner 10 minutes into the second half. It seemed as though the home side were going to miss out on the three points but a 7-minute salvo gave the Gunner a vital 3-1 win, goals from Arteta, Podolski and Giroud sealed the victory. The win put Arsenal third and on course to beat out rivals Tottenham for the 4th Champions League spot.
What is your prediction for the game?