Arsenal v Norwich City: EFL Cup Fourth Round Match Preview
Arsenal host Norwich City in the fourth-round of the EFL (Carabao) Cup at the Emirates Stadium tonight (7.45pm kick-off UK time).
The Gunners reached this stage of the competition with a 1-0 win over Doncaster Rovers at the Emirates Stadium in the last round. Theo Walcott scoring the only goal.
Arsenal got back to winning ways in the Premier League on Sunday, with a 5-2 victory over Everton at Goodison Park.
The win moved the Gunners up into 5th position in the Premier League table.
Norwich City reached this stage of the competition with a 3-2 win against Swindon Town in the first round at Carrow Road, a 4-1 win against Charlton Athletic in the second round at Carrow Road and a 3-1 win against Brentford at Griffin Park in the third round.
The Canaries will be backed by 9,000 supporters tonight, after beating their fiercest rivals Ipswich Town 1-0 in the East Anglian derby at Portman Road on Sunday.
It was a fourth successive Championship away win for Norwich, which has moved them up to 6th position and a play-off place in the table.
It’s a remarkable turnaround as the Canaries were 22nd in the table after the first five games of the season.
Norwich City haven’t won at Arsenal since Mark Robins’ double in the 4-2 win on the opening day of the inaugural Premier League season in 1992, when Norwich came from 2-0 down at half-time to win at Highbury.
The clubs have met 17 times since that day, with Norwich winning only once – a Grant Holt strike giving the Canaries a 1-0 win at Carrow Road in 2012 as part of a 10-game unbeaten run under Chris Hughton.
Norwich’s last trip to the Emirates ended in a 1-0 defeat, with Danny Welbeck scoring the 59th-minute winner in April 2016.
The Canaries came away from the Emirates with a point in 2012 after a 3-3 draw.
Jack Wilshere started in the win over Doncaster Rovers in the last round of this competition and in the last two Europa League matches against BATE Borisov and Red Star Belgrade.
Wilshere’s performances in those matches have been enough to get him back into Arsene Wenger’s Premier League matchday squad. He made a late substitute appearance in the win over Everton on Sunday, providing an assist for Aaron Ramsey’s goal
Midfielder James Maddison netted the only goal in the Canaries win over Ipswich Town in the East Anglian derby on Sunday.
It was the fifth time he has been involved in a goal for Norwich in the past four games with three goals and two assists.
“Fortunately, we have important games every week, so I can give competition to everybody. We have so much offensive force on the bench as well. It’s really a strong point of the club at the moment.
“I always used [the League Cup] to give a chance to young boys,” he added. “We went to the final with a very young team and nearly won it.
“I always focus on winning trophies in the Premier League and FA Cup domestically, and always used the League Cup as an education for our young players.
“But with this team I have the squad to go further, so let’s see. Let’s focus on winning the match against Norwich and then we’ll see where we will go.”
Farke wants his players to “create something special” by winning at Emirates Stadium.
“There is no pressure on us because 19 times out of 20, Arsenal would go through to the next round,” the Head Coach said at Monday’s press conference.
“There is always that one time though, and that time is special. I like situations where people don’t expect you to create special moments.
“We’ve won our last five away games and that gives us confidence. It’s a big task but I’m concentrated on bringing the best result back to Norwich City.
“We’re full of respect for Arsenal but we want to beat them. That’s our topic and what we’re trying to do.”
Arsene Wenger will revert back to the players who been playing in the Europa League and in the previous round of this competition. There will be another opportunity for youngsters Reiss Nelson, Ainsley-Mailand Niles and Joe Willock to impress.
The team will be bolstered by more experienced players such as Mohamed Elneny, Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud.
Matt Macey is likely to start in-goal in the absence of David Ospina through injury (groin).
The Canaries played on Sunday, so Daniel Farke is likely to make changes to his starting eleven.
Christoph Zimmerman and Nelson Oliveira face late fitness tests.
Josh Murphy and Marco Stiepermann have had tonsillitis and will also require fitness tests.
The match is likely to come too soon for Russell Martin and Steven Naismith who are recovering from injury.
Grant Hanley is cup tied.
Referee: Andrew Madley
Assistants: Neil Davies and Mark Russell
Fourth Official: James Linington
Arsenal to win 2-1.