EPL: Ljunberg leads Gunners to Norwich City

first_imgRelatedPosts Gunners, Reds battle for Community Shield glory Ljungbjerg resigns as Arsenal’s coach Arsenal sign Brazil winger Willian on three-year contract Norwich City vs. Arsenal Venue: Carrow Road Kick off: 1:30PMArsenal take on Norwich City in the Premier League this afternoon with Freddie Ljungberg taking charge of his first game since replacing Unai Emery on an interim basis. After a run of two wins from 11 matches in the Premier League and no victory in seven games in all competitions, there was little surprise when Emery was removed from his position on Friday morning. Letting slip a half-time advantage against Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League proved to be decisive, with the Gunners opting to hand the reins to assistant coach Ljungberg on an interim basis. While speculation regarding a potential long-term successor to Emery will continue, the former midfielder now has an opportunity to show what he can do with what remains a talented, well-stocked squad. Ljungberg’s priority is to ensure that Arsenal return to winning ways as soon as possible, with their recent run leaving the club eight points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea. However, while also wanting to showcase his style of football, the Swede needs to identify a number of reliable leaders in the camp to help the team move forward. Given the multiple changes of captaincy under Emery, that may prove easier said than done, but a united response is vital if Arsenal are going to maintain any hope of qualifying for next season’s Champions League through their Premier League position. With Brighton & Hove Albion and West Ham United to follow, the fixtures are in Ljungberg’s favour, but failing to pick up at least four points from the upcoming triple-header may lead to a further change in the dugout. Much will also depend on the availability of Arsenal’s preferred managerial targets, although Ljungberg must ignore any ‘noise’ surrounding the role and focus on finding solutions to many of the club’s ongoing problems. Meanwhile, the Canaries are attempting to build on last weekend’s 2-0 victory away at Everton, a result which moved the club into 18th position in the standings. Ever since their famous win over Manchester City in September, Norwich have struggled to replicate the same level of performances in games which they would have felt were opportunities to pick up points. However, despite remaining in the relegation zone, Daniel Farke will hope that the win at Goodison Park is a step in the right direction for his team. While Everton had chances throughout the 90 minutes, keeping a shutout was a big plus for the Canaries after conceding 12 goals in their previous five outings. Their failings in defence have come at a time when the goals have dried up for Teemu Pukki, although the Finland striker did play his part in setting up his team’s opener against the Toffees. The performances of the backline and Pukki will almost certainly prove pivotal as the campaign progresses, and Farke will be eager to see that high-quality displays can be produced more than just once every few games. Last week’s success has come at a time when Farke will be relieved to see less of his players spending time in the treatment room, although consistency from whoever has been given time on the pitch has been a problem. Todd Cantwell has been one of a number of players whose level has dropped in recent weeks, although his goal on Merseyside could act as the catalyst for him to regain his influential presence in midfield. The energy which the Englishman provides could be key on Sunday as Norwich look to avoid a fourth successive defeat in front of their own supporters. Norwich City possible XI: Krul, Aarons, Zimmermann, Godfrey, Byram, Stiepermann, McLean, Trybull, Cantwell, Hernandez, Pukki. Arsenal possible XI: Leno, Bellerin, Chambers, Sokratis, Tierney, Torreira, Guendouzi, Pepe, Willock, Aubameyang, Lacazette.Tags: Arsenal FCFreddie Ljungberglast_img read more

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