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Arsenal vs. Norwich City: Match Preview

Arsenal welcome the Canaries--and maybe Ted Harwood favorite Stephen Fry!--to the Emirates.

Richard Heathcote

Arsenal vs. Norwich City
Saturday, April 13, 2013
Kickoff: 10:00 AM EDT
Emirates Stadium, London, England's Green and Pleasant Land
TV Coverage: Fox Soccer Channel

Last time these two sides met, back in October, Arsenal left East Anglia with their tails between their legs, suffering a 1-0 defeat that was amongst the worst Arsenal performances of the last few years. Now, however, Arsenal are in a super-solid run of form, and the Gunners must look to continue the roll they're on tomorrow at the Emirates as they chase a spot in the top four of the English Premier League.

The team that featured in October included Vito Mannone in goal and Serge Gnabry coming off the bench, but tomorrow the circumstances should be different. Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain or maybe Lukas Podolski should be options off of the bench, and although Per Mertesacker will miss out due to the red card that he incurred last week against West Brom, Arsenal's defending as a team has been much better in recent weeks.

Norwich, on the other hand, are limping to the finish, only a handful of points above the relegation zone at the moment. Grant Holt, Robert Snodgrass, and Wesley Hoolihan keep toiling away, but none have more than five league goals, and Norwich have just 30 goals from 32 games this year. One would like to think that Arsenal could hold them at bay tomorrow, but one mustn't tempt fate in such ways with Arsenal at home this year.

Aidan delivered the team news yesterday, and it seems likely that Arsene Wenger will not bring back Lukas Podolski straight into the lineup, but will do that very thing with Jack Wilshere. The following lineup seems most likely tomorrow, even if we don't necessarily agree (for instance, I'd like Podolski to start on the left and Jack to come off the bench):

Sagna - Koscielny - Vermaelen - Monreal
Ramsey - Arteta
Gervinho - Wilshere - Cazorla

What do you all reckon? Do you think Wenger will keep Wilshere on the bench and use Santi Cazorla in the middle? Do you think Kieran Gibbs might play? Or maybe Carl Jenkinson?

Match prediction (hopefully the opposite of this happens):