Premier League whipping boys, Norwich City, host a confident Arsenal side at Carrow Road this weekend. Can the Canaries spring a festive surprise, or will the Gunners become the latest club to shoot them down?
After four wins on the bounce in league and cup, Arsenal will continue their quest for an English Premier League (EPL) top-four finish, when they visit bottom side, Norwich City, on Sunday.
Having sailed to their 10th top-flight triumph last time out at Leeds United, and then progressed untroubled into the EFL Cup semi-finals, the Gunners now encounter Dean Smith’s home side, who have won just twice all season.
In Arsenal squad news, the fitness of first-choice right-back, Takehiro Tomiyasu, who came off early on against Leeds with a muscular problem, is a concern.
Meanwhile, Calum Chambers joins Albert Sambi Lokonga and Pablo Mari in COVID self-isolation, while Ainsley Maitland-Niles has been absent due to another illness.
Boss, Mikel Arteta, has now named the same starting XI for four consecutive EPL games and is expected to leave Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang out again, with Alexandre Lacazette leading the line.
The virus outbreak in Norwich’s camp is still a major issue, with players including Josh Sargent and Christos Tzolis back in training ahead of Arsenal’s visit, but other unnamed squad members have tested positive for COVID-19 this week.
Dimitris Giannoulis and Billy Gilmour have reported suffering symptoms, but could yet be included. However, forward, Milot Rashica, and defender, Andrew Omobamidele, are still nursing injuries.
Following his EPL debut against Tottenham, midfielder, Jacob Sørensen, has been required to deputise at centre-back for part of both subsequent games. The 23-year-old could now return to the centre of the park, as cover for the injured Mathias Normann.
We predict a 4-0 victory to Arsenal, with two goals in each half.
Norwich City possible starting lineup:
Krul; Aarons, Kabak, Gibson, Williams; Gilmour, Sørensen, McLean; Dowell, Pukki, Cantwell
Arsenal possible starting lineup:
Ramsdale; Soares, White, Gabriel, Tierney; Xhaka, Partey; Saka, Ødegaard, Martinelli; Lacazette