Arsenal Look to Take Advantage of Relegation Bound Norwich City
Both Teams With Slow Starts Since the Restart
Despite, what was, by all means, a horror beginning to Project Restart, the North London side have responded well by securing two wins on the bounce. Mike Arteta continues to be vocal about Arsenal’s European objectives and knows that with a tricky run of games following the Norwich clash, they must take all three points here and continue building momentum.
Norwich have had a dreadful start. This looks to continue as their survival looks less likely each game week. With trips to Stamford Bridge and the Etihad still to come this season, they know time is running out and they must pick up points as soon as possible.
The Canaries are yet to register a point since football’s return. Despite only being six points from safety, times are looking bleak at Carrow Road. With only seven games remaining they are running out of time to preserve their top-flight status.
Arsenal Respond to Their Critics
Many had rightly criticised the Gunner’s performances in both defeats away to Manchester City and Brighton & Hove Albion. It looked as if Arsenal were in for an embarrassing collapse to the season. With injuries mounting, the remainder of the campaign was looking difficult for Arteta’s men.
Since, the Gunners have worked hard to correct things. Despite neither result looking entirely convincing, they have secured back-to-back victories on the road. Arsenal find themselves just two points off of the Europa League places. Also, they’ve booked a place in the semi-finals of the FA Cup, suggesting they still have plenty to play for.
Their most recent trip to Bramall Lane, to face a resilient Sheffield United side, displayed newfound bravery and determination. This will excite and please the fans and give the squad a renewed confidence for the remainder of the season. After a conceding a late equaliser as a result of some comical defending, they seemed braced to crumble, something people have begun to expect of Arsenal in recent years. Yet, the Gunners bit back in dramatic fashion and sought a late victory. This is something Arteta will hope kick-starts a determined finish to the season.
Desperate Norwich Continue to Struggle
Norwich are yet to reverse their fortunes and are still without a win since the restart. In their last Premier League outing at home to Everton, Daniel Farke decided to rest a few players with one eye on their FA Cup Quarter Final clash against Manchester United last weekend.
His rotated side were beaten 1-0 by the Toffees. And to make matters worse, their first team outfit were dumped out of the FA Cup in the following game. Farke’s decision clearly backfired, and things appear to just be getting worse for the Canaries.
Norwich did battle extremely hard against United, and there were definitely positives to take from the game, albeit against a heavily rotated Manchester United side. However, such a cruel end to the game must have sucked out the already little belief in this squad whose relegation deems ever closer.
120 minutes of football will have also seeped the energy out of this already weak squad. With a growing injury list defensively, Timm Klose’s red card from the weekend’s game being added to the mix just makes matters worse. Norwich will be travelling to the Emirates jaded with a weakened squad who are likely to be low on confidence. This is not ideal for a team so desperate for results.
Arsenal and Norwich Head to Head
Arsenal will be growing in confidence and, after a long spell on the road, will be looking forward to returning to their North London home on this run of form. Since Arteta’s arrival, Arsenal have developed a strong home record (unbeaten in their last five games, including four wins). They will be expecting a good result.
Also, no team has scored fewer away goals than the Canaries this season. Norwich have failed to score in five of their last six away fixtures, so despite Arsenal’s defensive issues, they will expect an accomplished performance.
Arsenal are unbeaten in their last seven matches against Norwich in all competitions. The two sides drew 2-2 in the reverse fixture, in which Norwich were unlucky to not come away with all three points. Many teams have gone to the Emirates this season and troubled Arsenal, Norwich will be looking to do the same to keep their survival hopes alive.
Arsenal had David Luiz return from suspension this weekend in their game against Sheffield United, but the experienced defender picked up a knock which suggests he will be a doubt for this game. Cedric Soares and Lucas Torreira have returned to training recently after long-term absences, they are unlikely to start but could feature.
Both Matteo Guendouzi and Mesut Ozil were left out of the squad in Arsenal’s trip to Bramall Lane. The French midfielder’s attitude has come in to question again in recent weeks and his future remains uncertain, reports suggest he may be left at home again this week. Ozil is unlikely to feature as a result of a back injury.
Norwich have a host of defensive selection problems. Both Grant Hanley and Christoph Zimmermann are out of the midweek trip to the Emirates, leaving them frail at the back. Timm Klose is suspended after the red card he picked up in Saturday’s FA Cup Quarter Final, making matters worse for the Canaries.
What to Expect
Arsenal are looking to close the gap on their European spot competitors and will expect a good performance in their return to the Emirates. In terms of the form coming into the game, and the records of the two sides this season, you would say Arsenal will be likely winners, and Norwich’s poor run will continue.
Despite their recent victories it would be wrong to believe Arsenal are at their best. Also, with Norwich in a relegation dogfight, they will be looking to do anything to get a result. Yet displaying such resilience in recent games and the joy of the late winner on Sunday will likely give Arsenal great confidence coming into this game. Arsenal will go into this game looking to take advantage of this struggling Norwich side.
Arsenal are the favourites going into this game. Norwich’s dreadful away record suggests the Gunners will be taking the three points here.
Arsenal 2-0 Norwich