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    Arsenal v Norwich City: Two sides under pressure


    By Chris Lincoln

    Saturday's evening fixture in the Premier League will witness two teams of various dispositions battling to salvage a hint of satisfaction after difficult seasons. Following a promising start to the campaign, Arsenal have slipped from title challenges to potential Europa League qualifiers, whilst Norwich are on the brink of relegation back to the Championship.

    Both clubs are entwined in a crucial set of fixtures to achieve their various ambitions for the latter end of the season, whilst Arsene Wenger and Alex Neil are under scrutiny from the powers above. The former in particular is receiving a bundle of negative statements from the Emirates fanbase, as the North Londoners have to settle for another season without a Premier League crown.

    Will they still be at their clubs next season?

    The Canaries enjoyed a weekend off last week, whilst Arsenal were held to a goalless draw by Sunderland, the side Norwich lost 3-0 to in their last outing to open up the race for survival oncemore. The East Anglian club will be hoping for a repeat performance of the 1-1 draw they produced on a cold night back in November during their last meeting with Arsenal.

    Norwich manager Alex Neil was just 15 years old when Arsene Wenger began a managerial spell that will reach its 750th game on Saturday evening. Neil has a tough task to beat the man who began his coaching career before the young Scotsman was born, as the Canaries have not beaten Arsenal since the first day of the Premier League era back in August 1992. Since then the Gunners have recorded eight wins and three draws in the league against their opponents. Norwich also hold a terrible recent record in the capital, as they remain without a victory in eleven league games.

    24 years since Norwich last beat Arsenal in the league

    The league table suggests that the majority of the game will be played in Norwich's final third, underpinned by the fact Arsenal have produced more touches in the opposition area than any other team in the league this season, compared to Norwich who have less than everyone else.

    Arsene Wenger has admitted that 'everyone is training', with Santi Cazorla in line for a return to the squad for the first time since their last outing against Norwich in November. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has also returned to full training, but the match will probably come around too soon for him. Norwich welcome back club captain Russell Martin, who missed the defeat to Sunderland with a virus, whilst Andre Wisdom also returns, although defensive stalwart Timm Klose remains a long term absentee.

    Mesut Ozil is a tough player to keep quiet

    Key Players:
    Mesut Ozil- the German World Cup winner has created more chances for his teammates than any other player in the league for over a decade.

    John Ruddy- the goalkeeper will have to be in fine form to keep out the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Olivier Giroud and Danny Welwick. 

    Chris Lincoln's Prediction: Arsenal 2-1 Norwich City
    Arsenal have not been in the best form lately but are still unbeaten in the Premier League for nearly two months. To stop the Gunners you must possess a solid backline and unfortunately for Norwich they are seriously depleted by the loss of Timm Klose. The Canaries won't roll over but may just lack enough quality to earn a result.

    Photos from Metro, Sun, Arsenal Mania and Pinkun
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    Item Reviewed: Arsenal v Norwich City: Two sides under pressure Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Chris Lincoln
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