Norwich have seven more matches to try and haul themselves out of the Premier League relegation zone, starting with this evening’s clash against Arsenal.
The Canaries go into the match at the Emirates Stadium six points adrift of 17th, not an impossible gap to close but one which looks a tall order given the fortunes of Daniel Farke’s men since football resumed a fortnight ago.
Three matches at Carrow Road in that time have all yielded defeat, even if they went down gallantly to Manchester United in the FA Cup quarter-finals at the weekend. That result means that Norwich can now focus all of their efforts this month on pulling off a relegation escape which looks increasingly improbable.
Farke’s cause is not helped by a serious dearth of defensive options, with Grant Hanley, Sam Byram and Christoph Zimmermann all ruled out for the rest of the season and Timm Klose suspended following his red card last Saturday.
It leaves the Canaries boss with a selection dilemma in defence but, having gone with a three-man back line against Man United, how will he set his team up against the Gunners? Here is our predicted Norwich line-up for this evening, which shows two changes from Saturday’s starting XI:
At least Farke can call upon the familiar face of Tim Krul in goal, although he may switch to a standard four-man defence given the dearth of options available to him. Jamal Lewis is set to feature at left-back as per usual, while Max Aarons should revert to right-back after playing as one component of the three-man central defensive unit on Saturday. Ben Godfrey is sure to feature now that he is Norwich’s only available natural centre-back, while Alexander Tettey could be moved alongside him to fill the gap – the Norwegian has played in that position a couple of times already this season.
With Tettey pulled out of his usual defensive midfield role, that leaves a vacancy which Tom Trybull could be asked to fill, having come off the bench against Manchester United. Kenny McLean keeps his place alongside him.
Farke may go with a three-man attacking midfield setup that sees Emiliano Buendia remain on the right flank and Todd Cantwell move to the left, having played centrally at the weekend. There could be a change in the number 10 role, with Lukas Rupp making way for Ondrej Duda, who got a run-out during extra time on Saturday. The lone attacking role should again be occupied by Teemu Pukki, although Josip Drmic could be pushing for a start having replaced the Finnish striker against United.
Farke will likely need to make a few positional shuffles given the lack of centre-back options, and he will be praying that his defensive hand isn’t further curtailed this evening.
Norwich fans, what changes do you expect for the game against Arsenal? Share your views in the comments section below!
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