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Arsenal v Norwich: Hosts to lead at half time and keep it that way

| 19.10.2013

The Premier League isn’t the only table that Arsenal are topping at the moment. Their nine potential absentees for Norwich’s visit to the Emirates gives them comfortable room at the top of the league’s injury chart too.

Mesut Ozil, Tomas Rosicky, Bacary Sagna and Santi Cazorla are all doubts for the Canary clash while Theo Walcott, Yaya Sanogo, Lukas Podolski, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Abou Diaby are all definitely ruled out.

Despite those absentees, the Gunners’ league momentum won’t be halted against a side that have travelled poorly under Chris Hughton, and are about as threatening to the opposition goalkeeper as Shane MacGowan is to David Beckham’s modelling career.

Since former Newcastle boss Hughton took over at Carrow Road, Norwich have won just three Premier League away games and his club last tasted victory in the red part of north London in 1992, six trips ago.

Last season, just two teams were less formidable than Norwich in front of goal, and the recruitment drive that saw Ricky van Wolfswinkel and Gary Hooper arrive to allay those problems is yet to bear fruit, with the pair combining for just one league goal thus far.

It all means that Arsene Wenger’s men are the heavy 3/10 favourites for the encounter, with the draw at 9/2 and a shock Norwich win priced at 17/2.

With Arsenal’s price so short, value must be sought elsewhere and the 4/6 about the home side winning at both half time and full time looks to be it.

In four of Arsenal’s seven league games this term the pretty-passers have led at the break. They’ve hung on to that lead come the final whistle on each occasion.

Conversely, the Canaries have trailed when the half time whistle blew in four of their seven and have gone on to lose the game each time, making an Arsenal/Arsenal punt the best betting route to take.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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James Middleton