Arsenal v Norwich – Match preview and team news

Arsenal are searching for their their eighth win in nine Premier League matches and their fourth in a row as they bid to continue their chase for a place in next season’s Champions League.

Indeed, with Chelsea and Tottenham not playing this weekend due to the Blues’ involvement in the FA Cup semi finals, the Gunners know victory over relegation-threatened Norwich will take them above their London rivals into third in the table with an additional game to come at home to Everton on Tuesday.

Arsene Wenger welcomes back England duo Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott after both recovered from ankle and pelvis injuries respectively. The return of Wilshere for the first time since the North London Derby defeat at Tottenham will bring a welcome boost to the Arsenal midfield, particularly with Tomas Rosicky, scorer of both goals at West Brom last week, a doubt with a hamstring problem.

Per Mertesacker is suspended so captain Thomas Vermaelen will return while Lukas Podolski may start with Santi Cazorla moving back into midfield alongside Mikel Arteta and either Wilshere or Aaron Ramsey.

Norwich are not quite safe from relegation just yet and lie just four points above 18th-placed Wigan having played a game more than the Latics. However, Chris Hughton’s men will take heart from the fact that their first league victory of the season back in October at home to Arsenal thanks to Grant Holt’s first-half strike.

Mark Bunn (groin) could miss out in between the sticks for the Canaries so Lee Camp could come in the continued absence of first-choice John Ruddy, while Anthony Pilkington could return after recovering from a hamstring injury.

See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Arsenal v Norwich

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