Norwich City v Arsenal

Scouting Report - Norwich City

Before every Arsenal fixture, we’ll bring you a Scouting Report on the Gunners’ next opponents.

Arsene Wenger's side complete their league campaign with a trip to Carrow Road to play Championship-bound Norwich City on Sunday. To find out more, we asked tactical expert Michael Cox and journalist Paddy Davitt. 

Although their relegation hasn’t been mathematically confirmed, Norwich City will be playing Championship football next season.

Going into the final day, they need a miracle to survive - a win over Arsenal, a Stoke City victory at 17th-placed West Bromwich Albion, and an 18-goal swing too. Bookmakers rate their chances at 1000/1.

Therefore, Norwich are playing purely for pride, and judging from their performance in a 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge last weekend, they’re certainly capable of turning in a committed performance for their fans.

"Norwich's other threat came from long throws, with centre back Ryan Bennett trotting forward to hurl the ball into the box"

Although a goalless draw wasn’t good enough in the situation, Norwich defended solidly at the back and created some decent chances, with counter-attacks and set-pieces their best weapon.

Martin Olsson was their most dangerous attacker - he started on the left but was most dangerous when he moved to the right, switching positions with Robert Snodgrass. He was unlucky not to be awarded a penalty from that position when sprinting in behind the defence, and curled a superb cross just past Bradley Johnson at the far post too.

The other dangerous player was a substitute, Nathan Redmond, a natural winger who played an unfamiliar centre-forward role, and caused problems with his pace and dribbling.

Norwich's other threat came from long throws, with centre back Ryan Bennett trotting forward to hurl the ball into the box. Arsenal must be prepared for these deliveries, although with the second-best aerial duel success in the division behind Stoke City, this shouldn’t be a huge problem for the Gunners.

Ultimately, however, Norwich might play a significantly different starting XI from last weekend. Neil Adams, taking charge of just his fifth Norwich match, was previously in charge of Norwich’s under-18 side - who he led to the FA Youth Cup last year.

It makes sense for him to select a side featuring plenty of youngsters, allowing them experience and preparing for next season’s rebuilding effort.

There are a lot of questions at Norwich City but not too many answers at the moment. I think things will become clearer after the weekend.

They have to make some big calls on the management and players - usual scenarios that you get with relegated clubs. Norwich will have hoped for more at the start of the season but it wasn't to be.

Last summer, Norwich went out and spent a club record amount of money. By doing that, they were more or less intimating that they thought they could move things on after two successive mid-table finishes.

"They will want to finish on an upbeat note in front of their own fans"

They brought in Dutch internationals Leroy Fer and Ricky van Wolfswinkel, plus Nathan Redmond among others. I think Chris Hughton tried to drop those lads into his existing system hoping it would work, but it never gelled.

Van Wolfswinkel hasn't scored since the opening day. Since the turn of the year, it was as though the wheels had come off. Before drawing at Chelsea last weekend, they had lost their last eight Premier League games.

Norwich got to 29 points and then only won once in their next 10 games. I think it was pretty clear that the dye was already cast when Hughton left.

Martin Olsson, who was signed from Blackburn, has been impressive and he has been the most consistent of the new players that arrived last summer. John Ruddy has been solid in goal, keeping 12 clean sheets, which is pretty impressive for a side that has virtually been relegated.

Norwich will have hoped to take it to the final day. I think they would have felt that, with Arsenal having secured fourth and in the FA Cup final next weekend, it would have been a good opportunity for them.

There is not much on it now, although there is a financial difference in finishing 18th as opposed to 19th. They will want to finish on an upbeat note in front of their own fans, ahead of what is likely to be a difficult summer. If I was pushed to predict the result, I'd go for a score draw.

See Full List

Fixtures & Results

Premier League
Ticket Info