Saturday sees the resumption of the Premier League calendar following the October international break, and the evening kick off sees Arsenal, looking to close the gap at the top of the table, travel to Carrow Road to face a Norwich side who are yet to win in the league.
The international break can be a blessing or a curse depending on how you are performing when it happens. For Norwich, who are yet to win in the League this season, have the worst goal difference in the league, and have conceded at least four goals on three occasions in the League so far, the break gives Chris Hughton a chance to regroup and rebuild Norwich’s confidence; for Arsenal there is a danger that the vast swathes of players out on international duty come back tired and unable to continue where they left off.
After a slow start Arsenal have started to find their goal scoring form, scoring 21 goals in their last seven games in all competitions. Norwich have conceded 18 goals in their nine games all season, so it’s safe to expect goals in this game. Over 1.5 first half goals is available at 6/4 with William Hill, and seeing as they Nowich have conceded in the first half in five of their seven premier league games this season, whereas Arsenal have scored in the first half in eight of their last nine games, this looks a fairly safe bet.
In terms of player scoring, Robin Van Persie’s absence means that it is now more difficult to pinpoint who is going to score first – Podolski & Gervinho have both been scoring frequently, and Giroud is finding his feet finally, equalising for France with the last kick of the game against Spain. For my money though, the jewel in the Arsenal crown is Santi Cazorla, who is making Robbie Savage look more stupid every passing week (ok, it’s not hard…) when he claimed during the summer that he’d never heard of Cazorla, and that he wasn’t good enough to get into the Swansea team, let alone the Arsenal one. Cazorla is 11/4 to score anytime with Coral, and if he scores, it'll probably be from the thick end of 30 yards.
Finally, it’s difficult to predict the correct score in this match as Norwich have the potential to score, especially at home, and against an Arsenal defence which started with three cleans sheets, but now doesn’t have one in seven, but we reckon Arsenal should triumph, and I reckon a margin of victory of three goals @ 15/2 with Ladbrokes looks appealing.
Over 1.5 first half goals @ 6/4 (William Hill)
Cazorla to score anytime @ 11/4 (Coral)
Arsenal to win by Exactly 3 goals @ 15/2 (Ladbrokes)