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Norwich vs Arsenal - Match preview and team news

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By Adam Mazrani

Friday 19 October 2012

Struggling Norwich City will continue search for their first league win of the season under new boss Chris Hughton as they welcome an in-form Arsenal side to Carrow Road.

Hughton will be hoping his side’s defence stands up to the task of facing the Gunners’ impressive forward line, particularly after the Canaries’ defence shipped five at home to Liverpool in their last league game before conceding four at Chelsea a week later.

Hughton remains without summer signing Steven Whittaker with an ankle injury suffered in pre-season although midfielder Robert Snodgrass should be fit to take part provided he overcomes an ankle injury picked up on international duty with Scotland.

For Arsenal, the major news is that midfielder Jack Wilshere could make his first competitive appearance for the club in almost 17 months. The 20-year-old has had a torrid time with ankle and knee injuries that ruled him out of the entirety of last season and Euro 2012 but after returning for the club’s Under-21 side, is now deemed to fit enough for at least a place on the bench at Carrow Road.

That news covers up for the fact that the Gunners were actually hit harder than most by the international break with Theo Walcott (chest) and Laurent Koscielny returning from England and France duty respectively with knocks that will rule them out of the clash at Carrow Road.

Elsewhere, Arsene Wenger will remain without Polish goalkeeping duo Wojciech Szczesny and Lukasz Fabianski so Vito Mannone is set to continue between the sticks, while Kieran Gibbs, Abou Diaby, Tomas Rosicky and Bacary Sagna all remain on the treatment table, though the latter could soon make his return from a broken leg.

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