Norwich City vs Arsenal
Venue: Carrow Road
Referee: Paul Tierney
TV: Sky Sports Main Event
In their first match without Unai Emery, Arsenal face an uphill battle against a Norwich side who recorded their first win in months last time out.
Arsenal have only won four times this season with their last victory in the league coming against Bournemouth almost two months ago. With supporters calling for Emery’s head after the mid-week Frankfurt loss, the Spaniard faced the axe on Friday and has been replaced by club legend Freddie Ljungberg for this fixture.
Daniel Farke’s Norwich recorded a surprise 2-0 away win over Everton last time out which was much needed as the Canaries hadn’t won since their jaw-dropping triumph over reigning champions Manchester City in September.
As Farke makes steps towards saving Norwich City’s season, this is a chance for a post-Emery Arsenal side to focus on getting wins and pushing up the table. The Gunners conceded early against Southampton after Danny Ings made the most of a quick free-kick, dribbling the ball into the box and tapping home with help from the post and they will look to sure up their defence in East Anglia.
Alexandre Lacazette fired home an equaliser not long afterwards and, following the break, Nicolas Pepe came close with a low volleyed drive. Sloppy defending from the North Londoners saw Michael Obafemi through on goal but the Irishman couldn’t convert a poor Cedric cross.
James Ward-Prowse put the Saints back in the lead, netting a rebound from a saved penalty kick before Lacazette smashed a volley home in the dying minutes to equalise. However, a disappointing display saw the Gunners booed off by their own supporters.
Norwich City earned a much-needed three points at Goodison Park as Todd Cantwell and Dennis Srbeny scored for the Canaries in a game dominated largely by the Toffees.
The last time these clubs met was in October 2017. The League Cup fixture saw the Gunners take the spoils as a fresh-faced Eddie Nketiah netted twice. Their last meeting in the league was the year before, but Norwich City haven’t beaten Arsenal since 2012.
This could be the perfect opportunity for Norwich City. With a win over Pep’s Manchester City in September on their record, Farke’s men could cause another upset.
Despite being considerably shorter than earlier in the season, Norwich City’s injury list could still impact them. Prodigious midfielder Todd Cantwell, who opened the scoring against Everton, could sit out of this match having left the field with a knock in that game.
Defenders Grant Hanley (groin), Timm Klose (knee) and Jamal Lewis (also knee) could miss out. Lewis returned home from international duty and missed the last game.
Spanish teammates Hector Bellerin and Dani Ceballos (both hamstring) are fighting for fitness but the latter is set to sit out until mid-December.
The Gunners’ only other worries are over Sead Kolasinac (hamstring) and Bukayo Saka (knock) whose fitness is hit-and-miss ahead of this fixture.
Predicted Starting XIs
Norwich City (4-2-3-1): Krul; Aarons, Zimmermann, Godfrey, Byram; Tettey, Vrancic; Hernandez, McLean, Buendia; Pukki
Arsenal (3-4-1-2): Leno; Chambers, Sokratis, Luiz; Maitland-Niles, Torreira, Guendouzi, Tierney; Ozil; Lacazette, Aubameyang
Score Prediction: Norwich City 1-1 Arsenal
This could be the perfect time for Farke to face Arsenal. The Gunners have been poor of late but have always had a goal in them. The Canaries could win if they are at the absolute best but a draw seems the most likely outcome.