Norwich covered the handicap at Stamford Bridge last weekend but that hasn’t helped their points total and with five defeats in their last six games a match against another of the league’s heavyweights is probably not what they need.
After their shock defeat at West Brom last week it’s been a good week for the Gunners as they will head into the final round of Champions League action with their destiny in their own hands. City’s defeat last weekend also meant they didn’t lose much ground at the top of the table and with the other teams around them facing tough matches this round offers the potential to gain an advantage. Arsenal’s record against promoted teams since 2012/13 is a superb W17-D2-L0 with 13 wins by at least two clear goals and eight by three or more. Just looking at the away trips in this sample and they’ve won eight of 10 matches with six wins by more than one goal.
Norwich’s defence has responded to the humiliation of conceding six at Newcastle by letting in just four goals in four games. However, they still look short of quality and despite some relatively easy home fixtures so far they’ve lost half their six matches at Carrow Road while keeping just one clean sheet.
The Canaries recent improved defence has meant three of their last four matches have had fewer than two goals but prior to that seven of their first nine games had at least three strikes and which side we see here could depend on whether Arsenal can get an early goal. There scoring trends have been pretty inconsistent this season and seven of their last nine trips to bottom-six teams have had fewer than three goals. If they were playing Olympiakos next week we may be concerned about focus and rotation but they have a week off after this game and should be fully committed so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them come flying out of the blocks. Alexis Sanchez has scored in five of his seven starts against promoted teams and after a brace in midweek he looks a great price at 6/4 to find the net again.
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