Carrow Road, Norwich
Sunday 29th November 2015, 1615 GMT
Norwich face tough opposition in the form of Arsenal FC on Sunday. However, with both teams suffering a loss in their previous Premier League games, they will look to steal all three points for themselves.
Norwich have had a terrible run in the last five games, having lost all but one. With 12 points, they sit two places above the drop zone, requiring a win if they wish to maintain a gap between the team below them. Alex Neil has no injury concerns other than the missing Mat Jarvis. Having to face a manager he has stated is one of the best in the business, Neil must look to find a strategy where by the team isna t affected by the counter-attacking strategy that Arsenal and so many others have used successfully against the Canaries.
Arsenal FC, on the other hand, have been considered title contenders thus far this season. Standing at fourth place with 26 points, the Gunners will look to jump up to first or second place depending on the results of the other three teams ahead of them. A strong performance will not only make a statement but will also give the team much needed momentum after last weeka s dismal performance a the Hawthorns.
Team News and Tactics
With the exception of Jarvis, Alex Neil has the whole squad to choose from. John Ruddy will be the chosen shot stopper for the weekend, with a back four of Bassong and Bennet at the center, whilst Olsson plays on the right and Martin on the left. Olsson will have to be on his toes as he will go head to head against Arsenala s best outfield players at the moment. With Sanchez posing an aerial treat as well, Bassong and Bennet will have to stay alert as Sanchez as well as Giroud will look to get behind them to latch onto Ozila s lofted passes.
Norwich will post a four-man midfield with Robbie Brady and Howson on either wing. Playing on the left, Howson will have to be tricky, as he will be up against Bellerin who can beat him for pace. Mulumbu will play the anchor man providing defensive cover to the back four, while Oa Neil will play as a box to box central midfielder. Oa Neil and Mulumbu will have to compress the midfield as much as possible to prevent the London side from getting into the rhythm of their passing game if they wish to get a positive result.
Redmond and Mbokani will be the two attacking players, playing one behind the other. Redmond will play behind the striker with the hope of crowding the midfield, as well as contributing to the team as an attacking threat.
Predicted Line-up (4-4-1-1): Ruddy, Olsson, Bassong, Bennet, Martin; Brady, Oa Neil, Mulumbu, Howson; Redmond, Mbokani
Arsene Wenger has come under a lot of fire for choosing to fly to Norwich instead of taking a bus. However, fighting the environmentalists is only one of his worries, as his team will be fielded without one of their consistent performers in Francis Coquelin. The defensive midfielder has been in excellent form, providing adequate cover for Arsenala s unpredictable defensive line-up.
Peter Cech has been probably the best buy for Arsenal of the players they have recently acquired. He has saved the team from potential losses many a times and will surely be picked over Ospina as the man in goal. Bellerin returns to play at right-back after a good game in mid-week. Monreal will be the chosen left wing-back. Mertesacker and Koscielny will likely be the centre-back pairing, despite the German’s recent dip in form.
With Coquelin out for a while, Flamini will be the substitute in that position alongside Cazorla. The experienced Flamini will be tasked with keeping a check on the likes of Redmond and Mulumbu, whilst providing support to Cazorla when he ventures forward. The three attacking midfielders for Arsenal will be Ozil in the center, Campbell on the right and Sanchez on the left. With both wingers having the tendency to cut in, they will look to play off Ozil and join the lone striker Giroud up top with runs into the box.
Predicted Line-up (4-2-3-1): Cech, Monreal, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Bellerin; Flamini, Cazorla, Sanchez, Ozil, Campbell; Giroud
- Arsenal have won 3 of the last five games against Norwich
- Norwich have won only one of their last thirteen games against Arsenal
- Ozil has the highest number of assists currently in the premier league
Man to Watch
With two goals in the mid-week game against Croatian side Dinamo Zagreb, Sanchez will be Arsenala s weapon of choice to unleash on Norwich. Supported by crafty playmaker Ozil and the teama s top scorer Giroud, Sanchez will look to increase his tally as they attempt to smash the home side to pieces. Playing off the left wing, the Chilean will be the man to watch for this match.
Norwich 1 a 3 Arsenal
Although Arsenal are a strong team, they suffer from a sudden lack of concentration like in the game against West Brom. Norwich on the other hand possess skilful players such as Rondon and Berahino to batter Arsenala s occasionally shaky defense. However, Wenger’s men should prove to be too strong on Sunday, particularly given the form of Mesut Ozil.
Blast from the past