Saturday, October 19, 2013

Arsenal vs Norwich City

Arsenal will have Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla and Bacary Sagna available for their Premier League fixture against Norwich City on Saturday.

Ozil returned from international duty with a bruised knee and a minor hamstring problem which were both picked up in Germany's 5-3 win over Sweden on Tuesday.

Ramsey suffered a reoccurrence of a thigh injury during Wales' 1-1 draw with Belgium, while Bacary Sagna is working back to match fitness after a hamstring injury - but Arsene Wenger confirmed the availability of a number of players in his Friday morning press conference: "Ozil, Sagna and Cazorla are all fit. Everybody else looks fit and ready."

Spaniard Cazorla will be available for selection for the first time since September 1. The midfielder returned to full training this week following an ankle injury.

However, Wenger is undecided whether he will start Sagna or Cazorla on Saturday's match, with the team flying high in first place in the Premier League.

"Cazorla is available in training, but he is not match-fit. It is just about competitiveness with him. There is a possibility both are in the squad for Saturday. I have not decided whether they will start or not."

Theo Walcott has been sidelined since September 18 after undergoing abdominal surgery and Wenger has confirmed the winger will not be available for another two weeks.

Lukas Podolski will definitely miss the match against Norwich with a hamstring injury, while midfield pair Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Abou Diaby are sidelined with knee problems, while Yaya Sanogo will not feature due to a back complaint.

Despite their strong start, Arsenal have kept only one clean sheet in the Premier League this term.

Norwich will try and take advantage of the hosts' fragile defence, but they will need to improve if they are to do so, having scored just five times this season.

No player has netted more than one goal for Chris Hughton's side, but midfielder Jonny Howson - scorer in the 1-0 win over Stoke City on September 29 - is hopeful they can kick-start their season at the Emirates Stadium.

"It's going to be a tough game for us," Howson told The Eastern Daily Press.

"But if we can put in a performance like we have the last two games [against Chelsea and Stoke] then I don't think we'll be too far off it."

Norwich – who have not won at Arsenal since 1992 – may have to cope without midfielder Anthony Pilkington, who faces a late fitness test due to a hamstring injury, while defender Elliott Bennett is unavailable due to a knee problem.

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