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Preview: Arsenal v Norwich, team news, line-up & prediction
Arsene Wenger has stoked the fires as fans prepare to protest during Arsenal’s Premier League clash with Norwich City tomorrow evening.
We desperately need three points against the Canaries as anything less would see us in serious danger of dropping out of the top four with Manchester United currently just five points behind with a game in hand.
However, disgruntled fans feel this game is the perfect opportunity to show their anger at how the club is being run with various supporters’ groups joining forces to promote the ‘Time For Change’ protest which will see fans hold up a banner in the 12th and 78th minutes as well as at full time.
Wenger, perhaps unwisely, agitated the fans even further after suggesting that a negative atmosphere at the Emirates has played a key role in our failure to land the title this season.
Whether you agree or disagree, all these comments have done is fuel the fire further and angry supporters are now more determined than ever to have their voices heard at tomorrow’s game.
Let’s hope the protest doesn’t have too much of an affect on the players as whatever you think about the way the club is being run, Champions League football is important and the 0-0 draw at Sunderland last week has left our qualification hopes hanging in the balance.
Santi Cazorla could make his long-awaited return after training fully with the first team over the past two weeks but a place on the bench is likely as Wenger will ease him back in to action.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is also close to being in contention after training with the first team this week but the boss has hinted this game may come too soon.
Jack Wilshere made a successful comeback with a late cameo off the bench against Sunderland last week so we finally have some proper depth and options in the squad.
As for Norwich, Russell Martin is set to return but Timm Klose and Andre Wisdom are out.
I’d stick with the same back five that’s kept consecutive clean sheets but I would like to see us mix things up in midfield. Wilshere might not have 90 minutes in him just yet but I’d love to see him start alongside Coquelin – who I’d bring in for Elneny as the Egyptian international has played a lot recently and Le Coq should be fresh.
The only other change I’d make is to recall Welbeck for Giroud – who is hopelessly out of form right now.
The result all depends on our attitude. We should know that Norwich are going to be battling for every ball as they are in a relegation scrap so if we just turn up expecting to win, we could be in for a shock. Hopefully the players will be up for this game as their Champions League status is in danger, so I’m backing us to secure a 2-1 win. Arsenal 2-1 Norwich