Thursday, 18 October 2012

Norwich (A)

After the dullness of the international break, the Premier League returns and we travel to Carrow Road to face a stumbling Norwich team who haven't had a win so far this season. Hopefully our players can pick up where they left off before representing their respective countries. We haven't escaped totally unscathed though, Theo Walcott has a chest injury and is a doubt against Norwich. We are also without Szczesny and Fabianski so this has sparked a "keeper crisis" style newsflash. It is a worry that we currently have one keeper in the shape of Mannone, but crisis may be too stronger word at the moment.

In good news Wilshere and Sagna both played a full 90 against a Chelsea XI the other day which is promising but both are still off match fitness so I wouldn't expect to see either of them this weekend. Gibbs picked up a knock at West Ham and is also a doubt but hopefully he will pull through, otherwise Santos will have to slot in at LB. So with all this taken into account I think the team will look like this: SZCZ, Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Santos/Gibbs, Gervinho, Arteta, Ramsey, Podolski, Cazorla, Giroud. I assume Santi will occupy the role behind Giroud who was superb against West Ham and scored against Spain in the internationals just gone.

Norwich will hope for the return of Snodgrass which may mean Poldi will have to drop back more than he would like or is used too. Upfront Holt is a throwback to the tradition powerful English striker and I think Mertesacker will have a real battle on his hands up against him. If he is partnered with Hoolahan then we will have to keep tabs on him, if he is partnered with Jackson, he offers a different outlet in the form of a pacey, nimble striker. 

The midfield will be dominated with Arsenal possession as Norwich prefer to sit deeper than other teams so it may be hard to break them down initially but I think should we score first and they get stretched pushing for a reply we may see a goal flurry. However there are no easy games in the PL so assuming this is a banker is a dangerous thing to do.

I think it may take some time before we see a name on the Arsenal score sheet but once/if we do then we may start to open the up a bit easier. So till next time COYG!!

Prediction: Norwich City 1-3 Arsenal