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Jon Riley 18th Nov 2011 - 14:36

Norwich can't stop the Rampant Robin

Norwich v Arsenal - 12:45 - live on Sky Sports 2

In-form Arsenal travel to Carrow Road on the back of a much improved run of form, that has seen them emerge from their disappearing start to the season with a more optimistic outlook. The Gunners have lost just one of their last eleven competitive matches and are rightly installed as the 7/10 favourites in comparison to the 9/2 offered for their newly promoted hosts. The draw can be backed at 12/5.

Norwich though will be no pushovers in front of their home fans. The Canaries earned a point away at Anfield and pushed both Chelsea and Manchester United close in trips to Stamford Bridge and Old Trafford. However, they have not managed to keep a clean sheet in 12 league and cup games so far this season and must tighten up defensively if they are to stop the flying Dutchman Robin Van Persie.

With 29 goals in 28 Premier League appearances in 2011 and an amazing 11 goals in 11 games so far this season, van Persie has finally lived up to his billing as a true world class talent. Not only for his goals but for his newly developed leadership skills, gone are the days of talking about his potential, now we are seeing the real deal. The Arsenal striker can be backed at 7/2 to open the scoring and 4/1 to score two or more goals.

Grant Holt was Norwich's talisman in the Championship last season and this has remained the case in the top flight. He may not start every game, usually coming on as an impact sub for Steve Morison, but as he proved with great goals against both Chelsea and Liverpool, he is still the man Norwich look to for their goals. The former Sheffield Wednesday and Shrewsbury man is priced at 8/1 to break the deadlock.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has injury problems at full-back with both Kieran Gibbs and Carl Jenkinson ruled out. Gibbs is likely to be out for up to five weeks after undergoing surgery on a hernia while Jenkinson is also missing with a stress fracture to his back.

Norwich manager Paul Lambert will be happy to welcome back defender Russell Martin after his recovery from an ankle injury and also Bradley Johnson, who is available after suffering concussion during the defeat by Aston Villa.

The Gunners have not lost at Carrow Road since 1984 (Double Chance, Arsenal or Draw 1/5) and triumphed 4-1 (20/1 Correct Score) on their last trip to Norfolk.

If Norwich are to provide us with a shock then the best bet might be a narrow margin of 1-0 (16/1) or 2-1 (12/1). It would be a huge shock as well, Norwich have won none of their last 11 matches at Carrow Road in all competitions against Arsenal (W0 D7 L4).

My recommendation for this match is for Arsenal to lead at both half-time and full-time in the Double Result market at 8/5. An alternative bet is in the handicap market where Arsenal-1 goal can be backed at 7/4.




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