Arsenal will look to pile on the misery for Norwich when they head to Carrow Road for Saturday’s late kick-off. Norwich have conceded nine goals in their past two outings, against Liverpool and Chelsea, and are submerged in the Relegation zone without a win to their name.
It has been a less than auspicious start to life at the club for new manager Chris Hughton. Not only have the Canaries been shipping goals to an alarming degree but they have also struggled to find the back of the net at the other end.
Despite heavy defeats, there have at least been encouraging signs in recent weeks that Grant Holt can recapture his form from last season. The hulking front man scored against both Liverpool and Chelsea and Norwich must hope that that streak continues, with his goals surely essential if they are to have a chance of avoiding the drop.
Their challenge will not be an easy one, though, going up against an impressive-looking Arsenal side. The Gunners recovered from their first defeat of the season, against Chelsea, with an excellent 3-1 win at West Ham last time out.
Perhaps particularly significant in that result was a first Premier League goal for summer signing Olivier Giroud. With the French striker also scoring a dramatic equalizer against Spain in midweek, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger will be hoping that he can become an effective and prolific leader of the line.
There are no doubts about the ability of fellow summer recruit Santi Cazorla. The Spaniard has delighted the Arsenal faithful in his short time at the Emirates and could torment the Norwich backline in a way that Chelsea’s trio of attacking midfielders did in a 4-1 win two weeks ago.
Arsenal have fresh injury problems, with both Theo Walcott and Kieran Gibbs ruled out. Wojciech Szczesny, Abou Diaby, Tomas Rosicky and Bacary Sagna are still a couple of weeks away from a return. But Arsenal fans will doubtless be excited by the news that, after 14 months out injured, Jack Wilshere will be back in the Arsenal squad on Saturday. The 20-year-old midfielder is sure to start on the bench, though, and may at most get a token short run out.
D: Martin, Barnett, Bassong, Garrido
M: Snodgrass, Johnson, Howson, Surman
D: Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Santos
M: Ramsey, Arteta
Gervinho, Cazorla, Podolski
Prediction: Despite the continued absence of the influential Diaby, it is hard to see anything other than a comfortable win for Arsenal at Carrow Road. Norwich’s defense has struggled badly of late and Arsenal’s quality attacking quartet should relish the 90 minutes on Saturday.
Norwich 0-3 Arsenal
Where to watch: The Premier League contest kicks-off at 12.30 p.m. with coverage provided by the Fox Soccer Channel. A delayed online stream will be available later in the day on FoxSoccer2Go.