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Arsenal v Norwich
Arsenal host Norwich on Saturday, May 5, 2012. Kick-off is at 12:45 GMT at the Emirates.
Arsenal had to settle with a draw against Stoke in their last match, rendering them win-less in three straight games now. The absence of Jack Wilshere, Mikel Arteta and Theo Walcott is now making itself felt as the Gunners have looked relatively blunt in midfield in the last three games. With two more games, Arsense Wenger needs to make do with the personnel he has at the moment without all three of his most-priced midfielders.
A win against Norwich this weekend could seal the deal for a third-place finish for the hosts and Arsenal fans will definitely turn to Gunners captain Robin van Persie to inspire them to a strong finish. The Dutchman scored a brace in their last game against the Canaries. However with recent decline in the team’s creativity in the middle of the park, van Persie has only tallied a scanty four goals and two assists in the last two months.
The Canaries are safe from relegation but they certainly have a lot of work to do in terms preventing humiliation game in, game out. Last weekend, Norwich succumbed to a Luis Suarez hat trick at Carrow Road; the team has now lost three games in succession.
Of particular concern to Norwich manager Paul Lambert is his top striker’s form. Grant Holt, the team’s top scorer, has been drawing blanks for four straight games now. Combine this with the team’s leaky defense – 11 goals conceded in three games – means trouble for the team from Carrow Road.
Arsenal v Norwich Betting Preview
Norwich playing away to one of the Premier League’s best teams this season is a big challenge, no doubt. They have only met the Gunners three times in the recent past, all of which resulted to a defeat – in their first two meetings, Thierry Henry and company has been scoring goals as if for fun. Although they successfully scored in all of these three meetings, Arsenal’s tendency to finish off their chances and score goals has proven too much for the Canaries time and again.
Verdict: Arsenal to win, 2-1.
Tip: A 2-1 final score in favour of Arsenal is at 17/2. Robin van Persie’s eye for goal renders him less rewarding so go for Thomas Vermaelen to score the last at 12/1. Vermaelen by the way is the best goalscoring defender in all of Europe with 6 goals to his name to date.
All odds are from Bet365.com (£200 FREE BET!).