Arsenal will aim to keep their pursuit of a top-four place on track when they visit the Premier League‘s bottom side Norwich City on Boxing Day.


Upon their return to the Premier League, Norwich’s struggles are clear for all to see as they face a possible relegation. Not only has new boss Dean Smith inherited a squad low in confidence and lacking elite-level quality in key positions, but a number of injuries and illness-related absences have also hindered his efforts to help them escape the drop zone. While they remain just three points adrift of safety, Norwich has played at least one game more than several of their relegation rivals, so must start to accumulate points if they are to survive. Unfortunately, a turnaround is unlikely to come at Carrow Road on Boxing Day as a raft of injuries and COVID-19 absences have put them on the back foot against an in-form Arsenal side. Defensive duo Grant Hanley and Ozan Kabak are ruled out.


Since their recent London derby win over West Ham lifted them into the top four for the first time since October 2020, Arsenal has gone on to post a convincing win over Leeds last weekend before comfortably progressing in the cup. Featuring a much-changed side, the Gunners followed up nine points from nine in the Premier League with a 5-1 victory over Sunderland in the EFL Cup quarter-finals on Tuesday, in which cup specialist Eddie Nketiah netted a hat-trick for the North London side. Arsenal has lost five of their nine away fixtures in the Premier League conceding ten goals in the process. Arsenal has won nine of their last 12 competitive games, with six of those with a clean sheet. In-form striker Gabriel Martinelli has scored three goals in his last two Premier League appearances. Takehiro Tomiyasu is a major doubt.