Arsenal vs. Norwich City: Predicted Lineup, Bench & Score

Bench

  1. Bernd Leno
  2. Nuno Tavares
  3. Pablo Mari
  4. Rob Holding
  5. Calum Chambers
  6. Ainsley Maitland-Niles
  7. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
  8. Gabriel Martinelli
  9. Folarin Balogun

Predicted XI

  • Left Out: Sead Kolasinac (international injury), Emile Smith Rowe (illness), Arthur Okonkwo, Cedric Soares & Eddie Nketiah
  • Out: Mohamed Elneny (hamstring), Granit Xhaka (red card)
  • Aaron Ramsdale was brought in to be the eventual #1 at Arsenal. He had a strong debut in the League Cup and it’s rumored that Bernd Leno could depart this summer. Despite the three losses, and scorelines, Leno’s play has screamed out for a switch in front of the net, but the international break offers Arteta the perfect chance. Add in that Bernd Leno is traveling back from national team duty with Germany and we could easily see Ramsdale take charge on Saturday.
  • Will we finally get to see the presumed preferred center-back duo? And might we even get the ideal backline for this season? Gabriel and Ben White have returned and been in full training. Kieren Tierney is currently, checks notes, healthy at the moment. And Takehiro Tomiyasu’s work visa should be finalized in time for him to feature Saturday. Typically you’d like a new signing more time to practice with the squad, but with Chambers and Cedric struggling at RB this season, I’d take Tomiyasu from day one, or if he isn’t ready, giving the start to Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
  • You could argue that Sambi and Thomas Partey might be Arsenal’s best midfield duo, even if everyone was available. At least the most mobile and attacking pairing. But with Xhaka and Elneny out, they are locks to start, with Maitland-Niles as coverage or Calum Chambers in a pinch.
  • Emile Smith Rowe is doubtful at the moment due to illness, so rather than rush him back, and considering how many attackers are now healthy I think he could be withheld and rested for Burnley. With Odegaard in the center and Saka on one of the attacking wings, that leaves two spots between Aubameyang, Lacazette, and Pepe. PEA is traveling back from international duty with Gabon, I’ve given the start to Lacazette up top. However, no one in Arsenal’s attack can stake a hard claim to being undroppable at the moment coming off three league matches with zero goals.
  • Arsenal finally have enough healthy players to force Arteta into a few bench decisions. If Tomiyasu is available, Arteta doesn’t need him plus Maitland-Niles, Cedric, Chambers, and Tavares in the matchday squad. Nuno provides left-back coverage (and can play on the right if needed), while Maitland-Niles is likely included for midfield depth. So do you take Cedric or Chambers on your bench? Likewise, with Aubamayang, Lacazette, Martinelli, and Pepe available, Arteta won’t need Eddie Nketiah and Folarin Balogun on the bench. I’d favor Balogun based on Eddie returning from injury.
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How to watch

Saturday (9/11) at 10:00 am ET / 7:00 am PT on Peacock Premium.

Prediction

Arsenal – 2

Norwich City – 1

With most of the squad fit and available, or at least what feels like the biggest selection thus far this season, will Arteta make the move for Ramsdale in goal? If his work visa arrives, will Tomiyasu get the immediate start? And how will he restructure an attack that has underperformed in the league? At home and against another side struggling to create, this is Arsenal’s best chance to shift the momentum.

Author: Admin

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