Arsene Wenger is relieved that his squad as returned almost unscathed from the international break as he decides upon a lineup for the visit of Norwich City on Saturday. Mesut Ozil has been the main injury worry but he is expected to be fit and will be joined in the squad by the returning Santi Cazorla, Tomas Rosicky and Bacary Sagna.
“Overall we do not come off it [the international break] too bad because [Laurent] Koscielny didn't play the first game at all, [Olivier] Giroud played only one half and 80 minutes in the second,” he said, according to Arsenal.com.
"The only one who played again over the two games is Aaron Ramsey and apart from that [Per] Mertesacker played only one, Ozil played nearly two full games.
"You look at it [the numbers] because we play so many games now. That's why it's important to have players like Cazorla, like Rosicky and hopefully [Theo] Walcott, [Lukas] Podolski and [Alex Oxlade-] Chamberlain back soon."
Arsenal remain top of the Premier League table, despite being held to a 1-1 draw by West Brom last time out. A trip to the Emirates is therefore not an ideal proposition for a Norwich side lying in the bottom three following a 3-1 defeat to Chelsea two weeks ago. Manager Chris Hughton has come under some pressure at the start of the campaign, but says he is relishing the challenge of taking on the league leaders.
“What you can’t do is you can’t go to the Emirates with any type of fear.,” he said, according to the Norwich City website. “You’ve got to go there to do your best to get something out of the game, and it’s a good opportunity for us to do that. “It’s exciting. It’s a challenge for us -- we’re off the back of a disappointing defeat to Chelsea, especially after the manner in which we played. What we need to do is take all the good things from that performance into the game at Arsenal, but we’re aware of what the task is because of how well they’re playing at the moment.”
D: Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs
M: Flamini, Ramsey
Rosicky, Ozil, Wilshere
D: Martin, Turner, Bassong, Olsson
Snodgrass, Howson, Fer, Redmond
F: Van Wolfswinkel
Where to watch: The Premier League match will kick off at 10 a.m. ET. Coverage will be provided by NBC’s Premier League Extra Time, with a live stream available on NBC Sports Live Extra.