A new era starts tomorrow for Arsenal football club when they travel to Norwich City. Unai Emery is out, replaced by Freddie Ljungberg on an interim basis. He has his work cut out for him. The Gunners have nine matches in a fixture-congested December, eight coming in the Premier League. The club is eight points adrift of the top four and haven’t won a match in more than a month. Arsenal need points fast.
Everyone will be on the lookout tomorrow and in the coming weeks for differences between Unai Emery’s time at the helm and Freddie’s start in charge. Will the preferred 11 shift? Will the tactics change? Will players look more engaged and involved?
There is likely to be at least the proverbial “dead cat bounce” that you see when clubs change managers. I expect Arsenal to win tomorrow and to look better doing it. That said, Freddie Ljungberg isn’t going to magically make Sokratis faster or David Luiz less mistake-prone. The players are still going to have their individual strengths and weaknesses. What may change, however, is whether the formation and tactics better mask those weaknesses and accentuate the strengths.
David Luiz, Shkodran Mustafi, and Hector Bellerin all have niggling injuries that are being assessed ahead of tomorrow’s match. Sead Kolasinac has recovered from his hamstring issue and is available for selection. Dani Ceballos is out for at least two more weeks.
Norwich are a side slowly on the mend from an unfortunate rash of injuries. Midfielder Todd Cantwell has returned to training and is available for selection. Left back Jamal Lewis faces a late fitness test to determine his availability. Grant Hanley, Timm Klose, and Josip Drmić are unavailable as they work back from long-term injuries. Midfielder Alexander Tettey is not available for selection due to “private reasons.”
WHAT: Arsenal at Norwich City
WHERE: Carrow Road, Norwich
WHEN: Sunday, December 1st, 2019 6 AM PT | 9 AM ET | 2 PM BT
US TV: NBCSN. Stream here.
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