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Going into the tie, Arsenal will no doubt be buoyed by the imminent return of Jack Wilshere and Bacary Sagna to the first-team, with it confirmed that the former will be travelling with the squad to Carrow Road. While his return has been a long-awaited moment, there is no doubt Arsene Wenger will remain cautious as he eases the young Englishman back into Premier League football. Expect him to get a cameo appearance off the bench.
On the other side of the coin however, injuries to Diaby and Gibbs mean Arsenal do lose some quality in defence and midfield with likely replacements Aaron Ramsey and Andre Santos set to get starting spots. The latter could potentially be the weak point in the team tomorrow as his ‘all or nothing’ style on defence could undo us at the back. I am hopeful however that we will dominate the game in midfield through Arteta and Cazorla to mitigate this.
In terms of other team news, the Gunners have sustained a couple of injuries as a result of the international break. Both Theo Walcott and Laurent Koscielny have been ruled out with Walcott bruising a lung and Koscielny sustaining a back injury. Both injuries are certainly unwelcome, but pose no significant threat to the quality of starting eleven with Vermaelen and Mertesacker already building a successful partnership at the back and the Ox and Gervinho looking in good form.
For this match, defence and midfield selections look relatively straight-forward, while up front player choice seems much harder to decide. Gervinho has looked good up front for Arsenal this season, although I think that Giroud will get the nod after opening his Premier League account against West Ham a couple of weeks ago and more recently salvaging a point for France with a last gasp header against World Champions Spain. It is likely both will feature at the expense of Chamberlain.
on Theo Walcott…
Theo is out for Saturday, for sure. He has an injury to his chest and lungs. We have to treat that clinically. He’s quickly short of breath when he makes an effort but it’s bruising and that will heal. It’s no major concern but it will take we think about two weeks to be back to a normal level.
on Kieran Gibbs…
Kieran Gibbs is out for Saturday because he went off against West Ham. He’s not healed yet. He has a little chance to be ready for Wednesday and a bigger chance for QPR.
on Szczesny and Fabianski…
We have a problem because Fabianski got injured and will have surgery – he will be out for three months. It’s an ankle ligament problem – a new problem. He was back in training before that. Szczesny I think is two weeks away.
on Rosicky and Diaby…
Rosicky is still a few weeks away and Diaby as well.
Jenkinson Mertesacker Vermaelen (c) Santos
Gervinho Cazorla Podolski
Arsenal – Santi Cazorla – After arriving in the summer, the little Spaniard has created numerous chances for his team-mates as well as scoring two goals, the latest of which was an unstoppable screamer against West-Ham. A must-have in any fantasy team.
Norwich – Robert Snodgrass – The Canaries will hope to see Snodgrass back in the team after returning from international duty with an ankle problem. The winger has arguably been Norwich’s best player so far this season and will look to trouble Arsenal’s defence.
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Arsenal to win: 8/15 (1.53)
Draw: 16/5 (4.20)
Norwich to win: 5/1 (6.00)
To win: Arsenal- 8/15 (1.53)
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Norwich 0 Arsenal 3 = 11/1 (12.00)