Arsenal will be in high spirits as they prepare for Tuesday’s League Cup clash with Norwich City at the Emirates Stadium.
24 October 2017
Kick-off 20:45 CET
Venue: Emirates Stadium
Referee: A. Madley
Assistants: N. Davies, M. Russell
Fourth official: J. Linington
TEAM MATCHES WIN DRAW LOSS
Arsenal 50 23 18 9
Norwich 50 9 18 23
Arsenal 1-0 Norwich City 30/04/2016 (Premier League)
Players to watch:
The entire Arsenal team had a good run around against Everton, but few were thriving against the Toffees quite like Mesut Ozil. The German, so often criticised for inconsistency, was at his best at Goodison Park. Norwich will offer him another opportunity to showcase his skills, even as his main challenge is to produce in the bigger games. Jack Wilshere has also been hitting some good form, and if Ozil is rested then the Englishman will be expected to assume the role of creator-in-chief.
Norwich’s danger man is Portuguese striker Nélson Oliveira, who has five goals to his name already this season. The No.9 will have to take whatever chances he gets, and will be tasked with getting on the end of their counterattacks.
Team form and quotes:
On Sunday the Gunners thrashed 10-man Everton 5-2 to return to winning ways in the Premier League, returning to winning ways after losing 2-1 to Watford the previous week. They have now won three of their last four and look to be in top form.
The Canaries are also faring well in the Championship, and undefeated in their last nine matches in all competitions, most recently edging Ipswich Town 1-0 in England’s second tier. However, they have not managed to beat the Londoners since 2012.
Ahead of the match, Arsene Wenger admitted that he will rotate his team and give youth a chance, and spoke of how a myriad of attacking options can be a blessing and a curse.
“That’s the luxury I have at the moment and the difficulty I have as well,” Wenger said. “All these players do well, play well and they deserve to play.
“Fortunately, we have important games every week, so I can give competition to everybody. We have so much offensive force on the bench as well. It’s really a strong point of the club at the moment.
“I always used [the League Cup] to give a chance to young boys. We went to the final with a very young team and nearly won it.
“I always focus on winning trophies in the Premier League and FA Cup domestically, and always used the League Cup as an education for our young players.
“But with this team, I have the squad to go further, so let’s see. Let’s focus on winning the match against Norwich and then we’ll see where we will go.”
For Norwich boss Daniel Farke, the focus was on pulling off the unlikely, saying “we’re full of respect for Arsenal but we want to beat them”.
“There is no pressure on us because 19 times out of 20, Arsenal would go through to the next round,” Farke said. “There is always that one time though, and that time is special. I like situations where people don’t expect you to create special moments.”
In team news, the match will come too soon for a number of Arsenal injury victims, including David Ospina, Danny Welbeck, Shkodran Mustafi, and Calum Chambers, who are all expected to return in November.
Norwich have reported no fresh injury concerns ahead of the match, but will be unable to call on Welsh midfielder Marley Watkins, who is suspended.