Premier League Betting: Norwich v Arsenal - Fan v Fan Preview



Norwich perspective: Matt, Holtamania.

Team news

Good news first: the squad is fit. Steven Whittaker remains the only injury problem with both David Fox and Jacob Butterfield back in training and completing minutes for the Under-21 squad this week. Sebastien Bassong, meanwhile, has had a fortnight to rest his sore hamstring. This means competition for places is at its fiercest, and given that very few players have performed anywhere near well enough to justify continued selection, we could see some changes. Up front Holt seems to have shaken off a little summer rust with goals against Liverpool and Chelsea, which is encouraging news to the Norwich fans worried that he would fail to deliver on his new contract.

Form

Recent results have not been good for us. A couple of decent performances against QPR and Spurs failed to earn maximum points and this hurts even more when followed by defeats against Newcastle, Liverpool and Chelsea – the latter two being complete humblings. It would take a very brave person to back us to stop the rot against Arsenal but stranger things have happened. Haven’t they?

Head-to-head

Here’s a nice fact: of the 41 different British teams Arsenal have faced at the Emirates, we’re the only side who haven’t been beaten at least once. To be fair, we’ve only played there once. Oh, and we aren’t there this weekend, but it’s a nice reminder of our excellent 3-3 draw towards the back end of last term, a belter of a game that saw us go behind, come back, go behind again and come back again. We lost the home game last season 2-1, but in truth it was Arsenal’s game all day, despite Steve Morison’s early goal.

Best bets

Santi Cazorla to score at 3.35. Norwich are looking particularly vulnerable to tricky, technically good players (Suarez and Mata both tore us apart), so I’d be looking at Santi Carzola to impress.

Over 2.5 goals at 1.62. Our defence looks unable to plug a bath at the moment and it’s a struggle to see Arsenal getting anything less than 2 or 3. If we chip in as well, this bet’s looking safe.

Arsenal to score in both halves at 2.2. A bit more value if you expect the Gunners to dominate at Carrow Road.

Score prediction: Norwich 1-3 Arsenal (12.00)

Predicted side

Arsenal perpsective: Jamie McNicholas, Gunnerblog.

Team news

The injury to Kieran Gibbs might have tempted Arsene Wenger to shift Thomas Vermaelen to left back, allowing him to include all three of his first-choice centre backs by bringing in Laurent Koscielny to partner Per Mertesacker.  However, a back injury to Koscielny has scuppered any such plans, and Andre Santos will come in. Theo Walcott is another casualty of international duty, whilst Wojciech Szczesny seems stuck in a familiar cycle of being perennially "2-3 weeks away" from fitness. This game comes too soon for Bacary Sagna and Jack Wilshere, who could both return within the next 7-10 days.

Form

Arsenal responded to the Chelsea defeat with two wins on the bounce. Olivier Giroud has finally discovered his shooting boots, and we will be keen to build up a head of steam before they visit Old Trafford on November 3rd.

Head-to-head

In 2011/12, Norwich almost derailed Arsenal's quest for a Champions League place during a topsy-turvy 3-3 draw at the Emirates. Grant Holt has been in and out of the side this season, but based on how much trouble he gave the Gunners that day, Chris Hughton would be wise to deploy him again.

Best bets

Olivier Giroud to score at 2.40. The striker finally got off the mark in the Premier League against West Ham, and followed it up with a crucial late equaliser for France against Spain.

Andre Santos to score first at 18.00. The Brazilian is due to get a rare start - his first in the Premier League this season.  The marauding left-back scored a couple of crucial goals last season, and the odds on him doing the same are tempting.

Red card shown at 5.50. Arsenal are just about due a dismissal this season. If Holt gets inside Vermaelen's head, he could be the man to get sent off.

Score prediction: Norwich 1-3 Arsenal (12.00)

Predicted side