by Zack Lambert
July 1, 2020
Norwich City at Arsenal
Spread: Arsenal (-1.25); O/U: 2.75
Moneyline: Norwich +600, Arsenal -240, Draw +370
Time/Location: 1:00 ET, Emirates Stadium, London, England
Norwich have played just three matches since the season has restarted and unfortunately for the Canaries, they’ve dropped all three of them. With losses to Southampton, Everton, and Manchester United, Norwich have dug their 20th place position in the Premier League a bit deeper and saw themselves out of the FA Cup. The once jaw-dropping skills of Teemu Pukki have receded and Todd Cantwell seems to be one of the few redeeming qualities remaining. Finding a way out of relegation at this point seems nearly impossible.
Norwich have favored a 4-2-3-1 this season that runs most of its play from the wingers Cantwell and Emi Buendía. The team started the season admirably and were able to put away some decent goals and even beat Manchester City, but since those first weeks things have been dismal. Norwich have just been bad on the attack and have only scored 25 goals on their 31 game season. On the other end of the pitch they’ve given up 56 goals, 2nd worst in the Premier League behind just Aston Villa. There have been brief sparks of genius on either end that reveal a possible potential that Norwich can’t unveil, but it’s too late to recover this season.
If there were a team that could make you nervous about losing to a team that’s won only five matches on the season it would be Arsenal, especially this version of the team. Arsenal currently sit 10th in the table but could jump as high as 7th if they’re able to pull the full three points out of this match. The return to play was very poor for the Gunners as they were torn apart by David Luiz and Manchester City before losing to Brighton. Along the way they lost Bernd Leno for the season and may be without Gabriel Martinelli as well. It will be a struggle to push their way back into the top six but cruising to a win over Norwich could be the jumpstart they need.
Since Bernd Leno went down in the loss to Brighton, Emi Martínez has been a rock in goal. He’s just allowed one goal in the two games he started and has received the help he’s needed from scapegoat Shkodran Mustafi. Aubameyang and Lacazette still have yet to score since the return of play and the playmaking has been sparse, but the Gunners have found ways to scrap together wins. Some projected lineups show Arsenal with a makeshift back three tomorrow with Bellerín and Tierney playing as midfielders. Even if it’s only to try to get everyone a fresh breath of air, this is the match to do it.
Analysis and Pick
As I said earlier, Arsenal are about the only team whose fan base might be worried coming into this match, but that’s just the way it is this season. Regardless of that dark feeling, the right play is still to roll with the Gunners. At -240 the play isn’t lucrative, so I would instead hit their spread. Going with Arsenal -1.25 pays out at -105 and that’s the correct play for this match. Despite the lack of fans Arsenal will still come out to perform and with Norwich’s shambolic defense a two goal win shouldn’t be difficult.
The total might be a risky play here. Sitting at 2.75 makes me a bit uncomfortable, so the only advice I would recommend is to avoid the under. Two goals just seems like too few while four seems too high. A clean 3-0 Arsenal thrashing is in play, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it end 3-1 either.