Arsenal: Podolski (Hamstring), Ox (Knee), Diaby (Knee), Zelalem, and Sanogo (back). Sagna (Hamstring) and Santi should be included in the squad.
Norwich City: Bennett (knee). Pilkington (Hamstring) faces a fitness test
Arsenal v Norwich 3-1
Second half goals from Arteta, Giroud and Podolski won Arsenal the match after Turner gave Norwich an early lead. And 3 goals in 6 minutes!
Have a look at the highlights here (also a prime example of anti-Arsenal commentary at its finest):
Norwich v Arsenal 1-0
Holt scored early. We had plenty of possession but ultimately did nothing with it.
Form Guide: Arsenal: DWWWW Norwich: LWLLW
Arsenal: Our good run came to a halt in our last premier league fixture against West Brom. Jack had to rescue a point for us after our in-form Welsh international went off with a minor injury. Never mind though, a minor hiccup is allowed given all the fixtures we’ve played in a small period of time. We will bounce back in this fixture.
Norwich: They replaced their human fridge (Holt) with big summer signing Ricky van Wolfswinkel. Unfortunately for Norwich he hasn’t really set the world on fire thus far. They’ve had massive problems in front of goal and it’s showing on their ladder position.
This week I’ve dipped into the Arsenal Archive and pulled out this video clip. It’s an extraordinary game from November 1989 that saw Arsenal come from behind to defeat Norwich. Code name: 7 goals and a brawl. We won it for David O’Leary!
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz huh – what? The interlull is over? Well thank Dennis for that! Is it just me or do they feel longer and longer? Probably because we are in cruise control at the moment so we’re not getting beaten up by the media repeatedly. It dragged on that long I had to tweet young Jack to see what he had for breakfast just so I could get my daily dose of Arsenal! I’ve probably given the interlull a finger before, but in fairness to me, I think if I did it every week it still wouldn’t be enough! If Ozil’s ‘knock’ is worse than first thought then my finger has been well and truly vindicated. I’m dubious though. My gut feeling is he will be unavailable for the Norwich game…quite convenient given Santi’s return…I’m on to you Arsene!
‘Ask the opposition’ returns again this week. It is designed to get some friendly banter from our opposition fans and get their insight for the match ahead. This week the answers were kindly provided by Gary from the Norwich City blog norwichcity.myfootballwriter.com . Let’s see what he’s written for us this week:
1) Well done on wiping your debt. Will it translate on the field soon enough?
To have wiped out our debt in the manner we have (we were staring headlong into the abyss in the summer of 2009) has been the stuff of dreams; it’s the first time the club has been on a sound financial footing for decades. Whether it will translate into success off the pitch is a difficult one – but the board have declared that for the next few seasons at least, all excess funds – after the club’s running costs have been covered – will be directed straight to first-team strengthening. With Hughton’s fine eye for a player it suggests we should see a further increase in the quality of the squad. We can only hope that then translates itself on the pitch, but as QPR – amongst others – have proved, there needs to be a sound infrastructure behind any big spending plans. We’re hopeful, but taking nothing for granted…
2) Are you happy with Grant Holt’s departure?
It was a shame to see him depart – he acquired legendary status in his four seasons here – but it was probably the right time for both parties. At 32 years old there was a general consensus that Holty’s best years were behind him but, more importantly than that, he wanted to leave. He made it clear he didn’t enjoy last season particularly – Chris Hughton having asked him to play a slightly different role – and had expressed a desire to try his luck elsewhere. With his family having already relocated up north it made sense all round for him to make the move when Wigan came calling; the challenge of playing in Europe too much for him to resist. A legend. We’ll never forget him.
3) how is Chris Hughton travelling? Will he take you places?
Despite there being a hard-core of ‘Hughton-outers’ he’s done a sound job so far. He did superbly well to get us up to 11th place last season and made some promising signings in the summer. With the board demanding ‘constant improvement’ his target this season is 10th or better, which is a big ask. He has his own way of doing things – much to the chagrin of some – but we’re infinitely harder to beat now than we were when he took over.
4) What player/position is your weakest?
Goalscoring is our problem. Despite shelling out around £15 million on three new strikers (van Wolfswinkel, Hooper and Elmander [on loan]) we’re still lacking goals. Ricky (van Wolfswinkel) has taken time to adjust to the intensity of the Premier League and, even though the signs are promising, he’s yet to kick on as we’d like. Hooper started the season with an injury but now he’s fit we’re hopeful that, between the two of them – and with support from Elmander – will rectify this ongoing problem.
5) Which Arsenal player would you like and why?
An easy one – Ozil has been a player I’ve admired hugely since he led Gareth Barry that merry dance in South Africa 2010, and he impresses me every time I see him play. He’ll be massive for you this season.
6) Which player/position do you feel is our weakest?
Having not seen you play much this season I’m not really sure. In the past there was always a feeling that joy could be had if your central defenders were put under pressure, but it seems Mertesacker and Koscielny have been rock solid this season.
7) Jack Wilshere, will he live up to the hype?
Yes; great player. For a variety of reasons he hasn’t had the best of press recently but quality always shines through in the end. People forget he’s still just a lad. I expect him to have a great season which will end with him being an integral part of England’s midfield in Brazil.
8) What is your prediction for the match?
Heart says 1-1, head says 2 – 0 Arsenal
I like Norwich City (especially now Holt has left) so I can’t sink my boots into them. I think it’ll be a relatively straight forward match and their lack of goal scoring pressure should see us through comfortably. All the best to Norwich this season; I’m glad they’ve got their off field issues sorted out. 3-0 to the good guys
What is your prediction?
Will Giroud get back to his scoring ways after 3 games without a goal?
Who is our most important player for this fixture?
By Oz Gunner
TotalArsenal’s predicted line-up:
Oz did not have time to complete his fine match pre-view, so I have added a predicted line-up.
Not what many will want to see, but I reckon Wenger will reintroduce Santi on the left and stick with Flamini-Arteta in the DM double-pivot, and play Ramsey on the right again. Wing play to come from the full backs…
OGAAT! UTA! COYG!