the big tactical view : Norwich v Arsenal 

Norwich v Arsenal
Sunday, 14:00
Live on Sky Sports Premier League & Main Event
I began researching this preview when Unai Emery was still in charge of Arsenal. It did not come as a surprise to see him sacked before I finished it.
It seemed inevitable after Thursday's Europa League defeat at home to Eintracht Frankfurt - Arsenal's seventh game without a win. In his 20-plus years at the helm, Arsene Wenger never had a run that bad.
Freddie Ljungberg has been handed the reins, at least for now, although what influence he can make in such a short turnaround is open to question.
What we do know is that the Gunners have been woeful at the back for most of the season.
Emery seemed intent on getting his side to play out from the back despite not having the players capable of doing so - further evidence of that was provided last weekend against Southampton in a game which they could easily have lost by two or three but somehow escaped from with a 2-2 draw.

Defensive woes

Since then, defenders Shkodran Mustafi and David Luiz have both limped off against Frankfurt, while Granit Xhaka also suffered a knock in that game having been brought in from the cold.
It would make sense for Ljungberg to order his players to adopt a new, safety-first approach - straight out of the playbook of former team-mate Tony Adams - but even if asked the Gunners' defenders look likely to concede in every game they play right now and it's hard to see their defensive issues being put right in a couple of days.
Optimistic Arsenal fans, if they still exist, may point to the fact that Norwich have been stuck in the relegation zone for some time now but they've scored in five of their six home games and come into this one with confidence boosted by a 2-0 win at Everton.

Zimmermann boost

With the Toffees also in a right state at the moment, it's probably wise not to read too much into that result. What was notable, however, was the return from long-term injury of Christoph Zimmermann at the back, a key player in last season's promotion campaign.
He helped secure a much-needed clean sheet as Norwich have also been sieve-like in defence.
In recent times, they've conceded five here against Aston Villa, three (and it could have been many more) to Manchester United and two versus fellow strugglers Watford.
They may have kept Everton out but Arsenal's attack, including last season's Golden Boot winner Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, will likely be a more difficult challenge. However they are at the back, a greater urgency in midfield and attack should be expected under the new boss.

Take your pick

In terms of the match betting, it's easy to make a case for both sides here, although neither is particularly convincing.
Arsenal are at 1.82 and that's a price which could look big come the final whistle. They have the players to comfortably win a game such as this but they simply haven't been performing of late. Maybe Friday's chopping and changing will pay immediate dividends but it would take a brave punter to be backing them at odds-on anywhere right now.
Norwich will tempt many at 4.30 but a win at Everton doesn't change the fact they've regularly been found wanting defensively in this division. They've conceded exactly half of their goals inside the first 30 minutes of games this season and that's giving them a mountain to climb in terms of winning games.
The draw is at 4.50.

Expect goals to flow

It's much easier to be confident about goals being on the cards.
Neither team has been good at keeping opponents out, while at the other end both have players capable of capitalising on the individual and collective mistakes which have been all too prevalent.
Teemu Pukki's goals may have dried up after his flying start but he'll be relishing facing the Arsenal backline, while at Goodison last week young Todd Cantwell also looked like the player who began the season in such vibrant fashion.
Not surprisingly, over 2.5 goals is short at 1.43, as is both teams to score (1.48). Both look highly likely.
But for a better price, expect the goals to really flow.
Over 3.5, something that has occurred in five of Norwich's six home games thus far, is at 2.08over 4.5 is a tasty 3.40.
For the record, the goal make-ups at Carrow Road this season have been 4-5-5-6-4-2.
The figures involving Arsenal are less convincing, although of their six games against teams in the bottom half of the table, three have ended 2-2 and one 3-2.
The suggested staking approach is therefore to back over 3.5 goals as the main bet with a smaller punt on over 4.5.

Opta fact

In 51 Premier League games under Unai Emery, Arsenal faced (717) 88 shots more than they had themselves (629). In their final 51 games under Arsene Wenger, they outshot their opponents by 177 (771-594).

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