Norwich vs Arsenal: 3.5 goals
|Date:||Saturday 19th November|
|Best Odds:||2.63@Ladbrokes BET NOW »|
The Premier League is back this weekend and Paul Lambert must be glad that his Norwich City side have been able to recharge their batteries with the two week break.
Lambert has a small squad at his disposal meaning he does not have the opportunity to rotate players in and out of the first XI, so any break he is given between games can only be a benefit to the team.
Norwich dropped to 9th in the League table following a 3-2 loss at Aston Villa last time out, a result that leaves them only 4 points better off than Bolton Wanderers in 18th place.
They are 2-2-1 at Carrow Road this season, scoring 9 goals but also conceding 7.
It seems 'rumours of (Arsenal's) death have been greatly exaggerated' after the team pulled together and have earned a good run of form to move into a solid position to qualify for the last 16 of the Champions League and are once again in line to compete for a top 4 finish.
While I believe the defence is too brittle to challenge for the title, confidence must be high in the camp as they get set for the busy period leading up to Christmas.
A win over West Brom in the final game before the international break pushed Arsenal into 7th spot in the League table, having earned 19 points from their opening 11 games.
That means the Gunners are level on points with Liverpool and 3 points behind Tottenham and Chelsea as they look to return to the top 4.
Arsenal are 1-1-3 away from home this season, scoring 11 goals and conceding 17, making them the 2nd highest away scorers in the League, but also the team with the worst defensive record.
The win over the Baggies also means Arsenal are 9-1-1 in their last 11 games in all competitions since the lowest point of their season so far in the 4-3 loss at Blackburn Rovers.
The Gunners have won back to back games away from home, but there has to be worries about a team that has conceded at least 2 goals in their last 4 away games in the League.
These two teams last met in the 2004/05 Premier League season with Arsenal winning both games 4-1.
I know a lot of people will want to jump on Arsenal here at what looks like an attractive price, but I will not be doing the same considering they have won just 1 of their last 9 Premier League games even if it was an impressive win at Chelsea.
Arsenal concede far too many goals, especially away from home, for me to feel secure in backing them at short odds on and instead I will look at other markets.
Both sides are very much vulnerable in defence so it is perfectly understandable why the Over 2.5 Goals has been priced up at odds on...
However, I think there could be some mileage in picking the Over 3.5 Goals option, although even that has come down in price in the last couple of days from 2.75 down to 2.63.
That still looks reasonable considering 8 of these sides 22 League games have seen at least 4 goals scored, while both sides have been scoring goals, but conceding heavily in recent games too.
Norwich have scored 3 goals in each of their last 2 home games, while failing to keep clean sheets, while Arsenal can point to the fact they have scored at least 2 goals in 3 of their last 4 away games.
The fact Arsenal have conceded at least 2 goals in their last 4 away games just makes me believe the 'Over 3.5 Goals' market is the best way to play this game.
I was close to picking Robin Van Persie to continue his extremely hot streak at 2.10 at BetFred, but will move away from that simply because the international break could have cooled him down.
However, as the penalty taker and someone who takes his fair share of direct free-kicks, it wouldn't surprise me if the Dutchman is one of the scorers on Saturday too.