Arsenal v Norwich
Saturday 30th April, 17:30
Live on Sky Sports 1
There's little that I can say here about Arsenal that hasn't already filled hundreds of column inches, blogs and fan forums over the past few weeks and months. A title challenge that once again promised so much has yet again fizzled out at the business end of the campaign. And now with six dropped points in the last four Premier League fixtures, a place in the top four is no longer a certainty with Manchester United breathing down their necks.
The goalless draw at Sunderland last week was particularly telling. Although some credit should be given to their opponents, that will offer no comfort to Arsenal fans who watched their side outplayed at times by a team that occupied one of the three relegation spots.
Alexis Sanchez's return to form has been one small positive for the Gunners in recent weeks. The Chilean now has five goals in his last five Arsenal appearances, while Petr Cech has recorded back-to-back clean sheets.
Following a run of seven points from a possible nine which catapulted Norwich into a position of hope, back-to-back defeats, including a telling 3-0 loss to relegation rivals Sunderland, means the Canaries go into this weekend's fixtures in the drop zone by virtue of goal difference.
A free week last week may prove to be a blessing with Alex Neil's men given a chance to rest, recuperate and refocus for this game. But with another tough fixture against Manchester United to come next week and both Newcastle and Sunderland in action earlier in the day this Saturday, things are beginning to look increasingly bleak for the Canaries.
From a neutral's point of view we can only hope that we're not subjected to another one of Delia's half-time rallying calls before the campaign is up.
Top vs. bottom matches are always tough to call at this stage of the season, but one thing I am certain of is that I can't be backing Arsenal at odds of 1.282/7 against any Premier League opponent on current form. But neither would I want to be laying them at such prices against a Norwich side that have won only three away games all season and have tasted victory at Arsenal only once in the last 12 visits.
Unfortunately for a betting preview, there's absolutely no play that I can advise on this market. Other than that you should keep your hard earned well away from it.
Over/Under 2.5 Goals
Historically this fixture has been full of goals. The four Premier League meetings at the Emirates this century have averaged five goals per game, with Arsenal scoring at least three in every one of them but never managing to keep a clean sheet.
Over 2.5 Goals is priced at odds of 1.608/13 here and that looks a fair enough price. I'd happily push the boat out a little and go for the Over 3.5 goals selection at odds of 2.407/5, however, in a game where both sides really need the three points.
Both Teams To Score
Norwich have scored on each of their last five visits to North London to take on Arsenal, while the game at Carrow Road earlier this season also finished 1-1 thanks to a couple of first half goals.
The Canaries' lack of goals this season has been a major problem, but with both teams searching for all three points it's worth taking a chance on the Yes selection here at odds of 2.1011/10.
2pts Back Over 3.5 Goals @ 2.407/5
1pt Back Both Teams To Score - Yes @ 2.1011/10