It’s a tale of two sides suffering from an end of season loss of form in Saturday’s early kick-off, as Arsenal host Norwich City at the Emirates Stadium. The Gunners are looking to secure the much-coveted 3rd place, while Norwich will want to end the season on a high.
Arsenal are without a win in three games, and were held by Stoke City at The Britannia last time out. As has often been the case this season, Robin Van Persie stepped up to save his side that day, salvaging what looks to be a precious point. He’s 3.50 to score first here, and 4.00 to score at least two goals.
Arsenal may have struggled for goals of late, but they’ve managed at least two goals in their last three meetings with Norwich, and over 2.5 goals is 1.40.
Further slip-ups could see Arsenal drop out of the top four, for the first time under Wenger’s careful eye. So, rather than stumbling over the finish line an emphatic ending is needed to eradicate the lacklustre recent weeks and give the fans something to cling onto in the final home game of the season. Arsenal are 1.22 for the win here and 1.55 for the HT/FT.
Norwich meanwhile, after a fantastic period in which they secured top flight survival at the first attempt, have now seemingly downed tools. They come into this game having lost three in a row and 7 of the last 11 games. During that run, they’ve won on just the two occasions. A draw might be their aim here, and that can be found at 5.75.
Defensive stability has also deserted Norwich: they have conceded at least 2 goals in 5 of their last 6 outings. For the floodgates to open, over 3.5 goals is 2.00.
Lambert has refused to say fatigue is to blame for the drop in form, though a glaring possibility is the motivation aspect. The Norwich fans will be looking forward to the Emirates trip though, and a performance akin to one of those earlier in the season would be most welcome.
Arsenal’s form has suffered since the loss of Mikel Arteta, who remains absent here, with the Spaniards guidance sorely missed in midfield. Tomas Rosicky though, is making a superb effort to make sure his teammate is not too sorely missed.
Arteta, Jack Wilshere, Per Mertesacker, Emmanuel Frimpong, Theo Walcott and Abou Diaby are all out. Aaron Ramsey, Rosicky and Alex Song are set to be in midfield while the more direct Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could feature of Yossi Benayoun who can over complicate things in a congested game. Oxlade-Chamberlain is at 3.00 to score anytime.
For Norwich, Adam Drury picked up an injury early on against Liverpool and is ruled out, while other defenders Daniel Sánchez Ayala and Marc Tierney are too. Grant Holt is expected to return though after Steve Morison was largely ineffective against Liverpool. Holt is 5.00 to score anytime. Lambert prefers a lone striker at the moment, and it will be no surprise to see that again as he packs the midfield who need to screen an injury hit defence.
PREDICTION: Arsenal to win comfortably.
BEST BET: Arsenal to win without conceding is 2.05