Arsenal face Norwich City at Carrow Road in the Premier League on Sunday.
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OUTFLANKING YOUR OPPONENTS
Should Arsene Wenger opt to field his strongest team at Norwich on Sunday, Mesut Ozil will be eagerly anticipating the match. The Germany international has scored seven times this season, including one brace - against the Canaries on October 19.
Ozil has been reinvigorated since his return after injury, and while last Sunday's game against West Bromwich Albion may have been somewhat low-key, the 25-year-old remained a lively, creative presence. He caused real problems for the Baggies' backline with his tendancy to drift out to either flank, dragging defenders out of position and opening up space for his team-mates.
Ozil is not your typical No 10, who only comes alive in the dangerzone in front of the opposition 'D'. Although left-footed, Ozil likes to move out to the right flank and swap positions with the likes of Santi Cazorla or Tomas Rosicky.
As our heatmap and chalkboard above indicate, Ozil actually spent very little time in the more central areas against West Brom, making almost all of his successful passes (green squares) from the flanks, as well as his one key pass (yellow square).
Against a Norwich side seemingly condemned to relegation, Ozil's vision, pace and movement could prove crucial to Arsenal's hopes of claiming a fifth win on the bounce.
KEY BATTLE - TETTEY v OZIL
If he starts at Carrow Road, Ozil is likely to be closely marked by Alexander Tettey. The 28-year-old is a physical presence at the base of the Norwich midfield, and his seven bookings this season suggest that the Arsenal playmaker could be in for a bruising afternoon if he cannot escape his attentions.
Tettey has won an impressive 73.8 per cent of his tackles, made 39 interceptions, 32 clearances and five blocks. He also has a comparable passing accuracy rate to Ozil, and has won 55.2 per cent of his duels.
But Ozil has already proved himself more than adept at losing man-markers and drifting into dangerous areas to create chances for his team-mates.
In fact, the Germany international has created 71 chances this season, and will be confident of adding to that number at Carrow Road. But first he has to stay away from the tenacious Tettey.
NORWICH CITY v ARSENAL - MATCH FACTS
- Norwich have won just one of their six Premier League home games against Arsenal, but that was last season (W1 D3 L2)
- In fact in all competitions, that defeat ended a run of 12 games unbeaten at Carrow Road for the Gunners (W5 D7 L0)
- Mesut Ozil registered his first Premier League goal in the reverse fixture at the Emirates this season, scoring twice in that game
- The Gunners managed 11 shots on target against Norwich at the Emirates, their highest tally in a single Premier League game this season
- Arsenal have won six and drawn two of their last eight Premier League games on the final day of the season
- Norwich City have lost 20 games this season; more than they have in any previous Premier League campaign
- Regardless of the result in this match, this will Arsenal’s highest points tally in the last six Premier League seasons (currently 76)
- Arsenal have won five and lost one of their last six Premier League games to be played on a Sunday, keeping a clean sheet in each of those five victories
- Norwich City have scored the highest proportion of goals from outside the box in the Premier League this season (32 per cent)
- Norwich have scored just 28 goals this season in the Premier League – only three lower figures have been recorded in a full Premier League campaign (Derby 20 in 07/08, Sunderland 21 in 02/03 and Sunderland 26 in 05/06)
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