19 October 2013
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Arsenal will be looking to maintain their lead at the top of the Barclays Premier League when they host Norwich City on Saturday.
Arsene Wenger's men have started the season superbly, posting five wins from their first seven matches. Only one side - Manchester City - have scored more Premier League goals than Arsenal this season and new signing Mesut Ozil has made an immediate impact in midfield.
Ozil is fit for the Norwich clash though, despite suffering a knee injury in Germany's 5-3 World Cup qualifying win over Sweden on Tuesday. Bacary Sagna is also back from injury, while Santi Cazorla (ankle) is fit but may not be match-ready. The fitness of Tomas Rosicky (calf) and winger Theo Walcott (abdomen) is unknown.
Striker Lukas Podolski will definitely miss with hamstring injuries while midfield pair Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Abou Diaby are sidelined with knee problems.
Despite their strong start, Arsenal have kept only one clean sheet in the Premier League this term. Norwich will try and take advantage but they will need to improve if they are to do so, having scored five times this season. No player has netted more than one goal for Chris Hughton's side, but midfielder Jonny Howson - scorer in the 1-0 win over Stoke City last month - is hopeful they can kick-start their season in London.
"It's going to be a tough game for us," Howson told The Eastern Daily Press. "But if we can put in a performance like we have the last two games [against Chelsea and Stoke] then I don't think we'll be too far off it."
Norwich - who have not won at Arsenal since 1992 - may have to cope without midfielder Anthony Pilkington, who faces a late fitness test due to a hamstring injury. Defender Elliott Bennett (knee) is unavailable for Norwich, but they will welcome back winger Robert Snodgrass from international duty. Snodgrass scored in Scotland's 2-0 World Cup qualifying win over Croatia on Tuesday and has been of Norwich's best players so far this season.
Arsenal (from): Fabianski, Szczesny, Martinez, Viviano, Gibbs, Jenkinson, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Monreal, Vermaelen, Flamini, Arteta, Cazorla, Eisfeld, Flamini, Frimpong, Gnabry, Miyaichi, Ozil, Ramsey, Rosicky, Wilshere, Yennaris, Zelalem, Bendtner, Giroud, Park, Sanogo, Walcott.