NORWICH’s hopes of survival move onto the Emirates on Saturday when they face Arsenal. Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) previews the match for us.
Arsenal v Norwich | Saturday 17:30 | Sky Sports 1
It’s looking ugly for Norwich. The Canaries form has dipped at exactly the wrong time of the season and their relegation rivals Sunderland and Newcastle have stepped up the pace on their own survival treadmill.
Alex Neil’s side lie in 18th position at the moment. Level on points with Sunderland (17th) and one point ahead of Newcastle (18th), they also have a game in hand over the Magpies.
After Saturday they host Manchester United before a home match with Watford and a trip to Goodison on the final day of the season. As run-in’s go it’s not all that bad.
It would be an enormous boost for the club if they could get something from this fixture on Saturday and if they can recapture the form that saw them win at Old Trafford the week before Christmas then they have a chance.
Usually it’s at this point I would reel out the stats bigging up Arsenal’s home record against bottom half sides but they’ve taken a knock in recent weeks. In fact Arsenal’s profile overall has taken a knock.
Since that Valentines Day win over Leicester Arsenal have won four of their following 14 matches. It looked a pivotal day for Arsenal and it’s turned out that way for all the wrong reasons.
A skim of those post-Valentines Day results make for awkward reading for Gunners fans. Home losses to Swansea and Watford and an inability to beat Crystal Palace (at the Emirates) and Sunderland (away) are the reasons why this side won’t be picking up any trophies in May.
With Norwich pumped up to the max and under the backdrop of those recent Arsenal results there may be a case to be made for the Canaries at 13/1 in some shape or form.
On top of the recent below-par results at the club there also seems a bit of a storm brewing at the club with protests expected at the game about Arsene Wenger and the future direction of the club.
How will the players respond to that? They took an early iron grip of their last home match against West Brom when a similar atmosphere prevailed before easing off in a 2-0 win but also failed to beat Crystal Palace at the Emirates when all was not well.
I’m expecting Arsenal to smash somebody before the season is out. It might be Aston Villa on the last day of the season but then again it might be here.
Norwich aren’t really in a position to lie back and accept their fight so after a two week break I’m hoping to see a bit of fight from Alex Neil’s men.
It all adds up to goals and that’s the direction I’ll take here. Over 3.5 Goals appeals at odds against 7/5 with 888 Sport. Norwich have leaked six goals in their last three matches against bottom half sides and that spells trouble for them here.
Arsenal v Norwich – Over 3.5 Goals (7/5 888 Sport)
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