Norwich City v Arsenal: Premier League match preview

A look ahead to this weekend's Premier League fixture at Carrow Road

Whereas Arsenal have already secured a top four finish, Norwich look almost certain to face relegation. Sitting at 18th in the league, if Norwich win and West Brom lose to Stoke, the teams will be level on points, but Norwich would need a 17-goal swing in their favour in order to stay up.

Although Norwich are not yet officially relegated, such is the unlikelihood of Neil Adam’s side managing an escape, it is likely that a sombre mood will hang over Carrow Road. It is in front of goal where Norwich have struggled most and ultimately it could be their terrible goal difference that relegates them. The Canaries have scored just 28 goals in the Premier League this season and with just one win in 10 matches prior to games against Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal, staying up was always going to be a challenge. The sacking of Chris Hughton and replacing him with former player and Youth Team manager Adams with five games to go will not have helped, but Norwich fans will realise that the damage was done long before the hiring of Adams. However, amidst all the doom and gloom, Norwich did manage a goalless draw against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last Sunday.

Arsenal look set to finish fourth in the league, unless there is another unrealistic goal swing in their favour and a defeat for Chelsea. The Gunners will likely not be able to help but think what might have been, had Aaron Ramsey and Theo Walcott been fit throughout. Whilst they have the FA Cup to look forward to, given that Arsene Wenger’s players led the league standings until February 2014, an ultimate fourth place finish is likely to be greeted with disappointment. However, if Arsenal win on Sunday, it will be their fifth consecutive win and will further strengthen their run of good form, which they will hope will end with victory in the FA Cup final on Sunday, where they could secure the club’s first trophy for nine years.

KICK-OFF: Sunday, 3pm

PAST THREE MEETINGS…

Arsenal 4 (Wilshere, Ozil 2, Ramsey), Norwich 1 (Howson), Premier League, October 2013

Arsenal 3 (Arteta, Giroud, Podolski) Norwich 1 (Turner), Premier League, April 2013

Norwich 1 (Holt), Arsenal 0, Premier League, October 2012

STATS…

With just 28 Premier League goals scored this season, you have to go down the pyramid as far as step nine and Lincoln Moorlands Railway of the Northern Counties East League to find a team who has scored fewer goals than Norwich

Norwich have won just one of their six Premier League home games against Arsenal, but that was last season.

Norwich have lost by more than 1 goal in just 1 of their last 34 home matches.

Arsenal look set to finish fourth in the league for the sixth time in nine seasons

Nine of Arsenal’s last 12 away games have had at least 3 goals.
This season looks set to be Arsenal’s highest points tally in six Premier League seasons.

ODDS…

Norwich to win: 4.20

Arsenal to win: 1.85

Draw: 3.80

TV: Highlights, BBC ONE Match of the Day.

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