Norwich vs. Arsenal: Team News & Predicted Line Ups

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Arsenal will be hoping to build on their impressive mid-week performance with a tricky trip to Norwich City this weekend, as they return to Premier League action.

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The Gunners will have to regroup this weekend though, having dropped down to that familiar fourth place in the table after last weekends slip-up at West Brom.

But what a difference seven days can make, and manager Arsene Wenger has provided the fans with a much needed pick-up as we enter into the early stages of the festive period.

Following the boss’ press conference ahead of Sunday afternoons game he assured that his squad was beginning to get back to their shape, with a certain individual set to make his return.

Mid-week saw Aaron Ramsey return from injury for a 30 minute spell during the 3-0 victory, as he featured as an unorthodox left sided winger.

Fresh Arsenal have collected team news and views from both sides ahead of this weekends fixture, just scroll through to check out how we predict the teams will line up.

Team News

Arsenal

Following the mid-week game against Dynamo Zagreb, there are no new injury concerns to deal with, despite Hector Bellerin and Olivier Giroud being taken off.

Midfielders Aaron Ramsey and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are both available for selection after recovering from injury, but the Welshman looks more likely of the duo to start the game.

Still awaiting his return is Theo Walcott, who is in line to feature in the squad next weekend as he continues to work on a calf problem picked up against Sheffield Wednesday.

Mikel Arteta, Francis Coquelin, Jack Wilshere, Tomas Rosicky and Danny Welbeck will also miss out on the clash against Norwich.

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Norwich City

Alex Neil confirmed that his squad would have to change week after week to ensure their oppositions don’t pick up on any obvious flaws.

He also confirmed that standout midfielder, Alex Tettey, would miss this weekends game following an injury sustained on international duty.

However, Canaries fans will welcome back Russell Martin who returns to the side after sitting out the 1-0 loss to Chelsea for personal reasons.

Overview

Arsenal

For the Gunners this is a test of concentration and an ability to bounce back into a nice rhythm of results ahead of a hectic Christmas period.

Looking at their fixtures list will provide these players with a drive to get some confidence ahead of the must-win trip to Olympiacos, which Arsene Wenger will be well aware of.

Therefore, Arsenal will want to control this game from the start which will inevitable quieten down an amazing set of supporters the home side boast.

It’s a game in which places are up for grabs, and with players returning from injury by the week, now is the time to cement your intent to start each and every game.

Joel Campbell should be rewarded for his work rate on Tuesday night, and you can imagine a lot of the play will try to be dictated down the right hand side to give Alexis a bit of a breather.

But with the absence of Alex Tettey, you can almost certainly see the majority of Arsenal’s playing coming through the middle of the park.

Santi Cazorla looked a lot fresher and Mesut Ozil is arguably the best midfielder in the Premier League at this stage, so you can see the Gunners sucking in that Norwich defence to then release play out on to the flanks.

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Norwich

Alex Neil has already expressed his intent to change the style of play Norwich can sometimes lack, and he’ll want to see a similar performance to last weeks game against Chelsea.

For a majority of the game it looked as if the Canaries could steal a point, as they made it difficult for the likes of Costa and Hazard to break down a determined defence.

This is a side that need points to keep themselves afloat of the drop zone, and as they currently sit in 16th place there’s even more intent to pick up a result on Sunday.

Expect them to play the way they want to play and not get drawn into counter attacking, which can be so common against an Arsenal side like this one.

Instead, Neil will want his side to play football and to build on the attack against a fragile Mathieu Flamini who is prone to making mistakes.

They will want Arsenal to sit back and defend because that’s when they start to make mistakes, with Mertesacker failing to supply a sharpness to close down shots.

If Neil can get his side to play that way, it is something he can take to a handful of Premier League sides and pick up a win, because this game will be a confidence booster if anything.

The Norwich boss has stated that the Gunners are easily the best attacking side to defend against, so he will no doubt be looking to take positives from this game, no matter what the result.

Predicted Starting XI’s

Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Cech, Bellerin, Mertesacker (C), Koscielny, Monreal, Cazorla, Flamini, Campbell, Ozil, Alexis, Giroud

Norwich (4-1-3-2): Ruddy, Wisdom, Martin, Bassong, Olsson, Howsdon, O’Neil, Mulumbu, Brady, Redmond, Mbokani

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