Arsenal vs. Norwich City – Premier League Match Preview
What seemed the longest interlull in history has finally come to a close, and Arsenal is back in action, hosting Norwich City FC at the Emirates. While there are still plenty of international match fixtures that will come up and make our lives miserable, the focus is finally back on domestic league action.
Arsenal had an injury scare going into this match, with news outlets reporting that Özil picked up a slight knock that was easily the most frightening experience many Gooners will have this October. Thankfully, Wenger confirmed that his knock was only just that… a knock. His status as a starter is still unknown, but all Gooners hope to see him available for the starting lineup. Wenger also confirmed that Sagna is almost fully fit, while Cazorla is training but not match fit. At the very least, our squad is improving and we can hopefully expect to have more of our squad return soon. On that front, Walcott remains about two weeks away, while other long-term injuries to Podolski, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Diaby, and Yaya Sanogo still linger.
Norwich represents another tougher opponent for Arsenal, a team that actually holds possession and has some dangerous pieces, which we learned all too well when facing West Brom, only managing a 1-1 draw before entering the international break. Norwich sits in the relegation zone at the moment, which could lull us into a false sense of security. However, the Canaries boast some accomplished strikers that will keep our back four busy and Wenger knows Nowrich will be scrappy and determined tomorrow. And also led by a scum manager. (Piss off Hughton!)
As for our squad, I would imagine we will see Jenkinson, BFG, Koscielny, and Gibbs starting. While it sucks to keep Vermaelen out, it is really hard to cast our excellent centre back pairing aside at this point. It remains to be seen if we will see Sagna, TV5, and Nacho Monreal slot in when we take on Borussia Dortmund in Champions League, but we will worry about them a little later.
Our defensive midfield tandem of Arteta and Flamini may be preferred, but Wilshere filled in quite well against West Brom, slotting home his first goal in a long time, cigarette in hand (my memory is hazy, but I thought I saw him take a few puffs on the pitch). Our options in midfield are a manager’s dream scenario, with Ramsey, Rosicky, and Özil available for the squad. Up top will be the presence of Olivier Giroud, and he will hopefully get a chance to convert a goal to get involved in Arsenal’s recent goal-scoring form.
I expect Szczesny to anchor the net even with the looming Champions League fixture, and a performance leading to three points would be the right kind of attitude to have when facing Borussia Dortmund later on. October leads in to a difficult November, but Arsenal can hopefully continue to assert its dominance atop the Premier League table.