Arsenal will be playing their last league game of the season at the Carrow Road against Norwich. It is a match of no significance to both sides. Arsenal have already secured top 4 and cannot get third place as Chelsea boast of superior goals difference even if they lose to Cardiff. It will take Arsenal winning by a high margin and them losing by a high margin before the Gunners can leapfrog them. Both looks unlikely because already relegated Cardiff cannot beat Chelsea silly and neither can Arsenal pummel Norwich enough to dislodge Chelsea.
As for Norwich, they are already relegated unless they can score aplenty against Arsenal and that is very unlikely. Hence, nothing to play for in the match but Arsenal cannot treat it with kid gloves. The Gunners have ample reasons why they should win the game and I believe they will. Let me share some of the reasons with you.
The upcoming FA Cup final. Arsenal have the chance to end their protracted drought next weekend against Hull in the FA Cup final and going into such a game on the back of a convincing win against Norwich will do the players’ confidence a whole world of good. A loss can swing the pendulum of confidence going into the crucial clash. Remember FA cup is a competition of upsets, Arsenal may be favourites on paper, they are not on the field. They must give their confidence a huge boost going into the game. A win against Norwich will give that.
Szczesny wants the award – the Polish goalkeeper is in a good position to win the golden glove award as he is currently tied on number of clean sheets with Chelsea’s Cech and should he shut out the Canaries in the last game, he will go one better than the Czech star. I expect Arsenal to score at least one goal, coupled with Szczesny’s clean sheet, that should be enough to secure the 3 points.
Arsenal have not lost on the last day of the season in recent times – the Gunners have always got it right on the last day of the Premier league season in recent seasons. We can argue that it was because they needed the result to secure top 4 finish and that’s different from now they have everything sorted already. That is a valid argument but I doubt if Norwich have enough fight in them to stop Arsenal. The Gunners will take things easy because of the FA Cup final and World Cup and against a team battling for survival or more physical like Stoke, they can be rattled but I doubt if Norwich can really give the fight that will stop them.