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Norwich City-Arsenal Preview

AP - Sports

Premier League leaders Arsenal welcome Norwich City to the Emirates on Saturday afternoon.

Arsene Wenger's Arsenal (5-1-1) come back from the international break full of confidence, having enjoyed a terrific start to the season. The Gunners' 1-1 draw against West Bromwich Albion last time out was the first time they dropped points since the opening day of the season, and the arrival of record signing Mesut Ozil is being credited with transforming the mood at the club.

"Of course, it's a big responsibility to spend that amount of money," explained Wenger. "But I feel comfortable with it because we had the money to do it. Before we couldn't have done it because we didn't have the money available. It's as simple as that.

"I had a huge sense of responsibility when we built the stadium to get the club through it without going bankrupt. The first years were difficult, and also explained why we lost some players. Now we are in a more comfortable financial position, I - more than anyone - want the great players to play for Arsenal Football Club. If we have to spend the money to do that, I will spend the money."

Chris Hughton's Norwich (2-1-4) also invested heavily in new players over the summer, but their squad has shown signs of taking time to settle in the early going. Three defeats in the last four league games have left the Canaries in the bottom three going into this fixture, but at this early stage of the season, Hughton's side is only three points outside of the top half and chief executive David McNally this week urged the fans to remain patient.

"I think we're not in the position we deserve to be given the performances," said McNally. "We would like to have more points. I'm not happy about being 18th; I'm embarrassed by it. So I'm sure lots of supporters feel the same way and we will do everything we can to support Chris (Hughton) to get up the table as quickly as possible, and to stay and remain up the table.

"One point would've moved us up five places at the weekend; a win and we may have been on the cusp of top half. So it's very early days. This time last year we only had three points, so year on year there is a distinct improvement."

Arsenal have injury doubts over Ozil, who suffered a knee injury late in Germany's 5-3 win over Sweden to cap World Cup qualifying on Tuesday, as well as Tomas Rosicky (calf), Theo Walcott (abdominal strain), Santi Cazorla (ankle) and Yannick Sanogo (back), while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (knee), About Diaby (knee), Lukas Podolski (hamstring) and Bacary Sagna (hamstring) are out.

Norwich have doubts over Anthony Pilkington (knock) and Elliott Bennett (knee).

Arsenal won 3-1 against Norwich at the Emirates last season, but a lone Grant Holt goal was enough to earn the underdogs a win in the return fixture. Norwich have scored at least once in each of their last six Premier League meetings with Arsenal, but the Gunners have bagged at least three in their last three home games versus the Canaries.

Norwich have failed to score in seven of their last 11 away matches, managing just six goals in total in those games.

Arsenal's tally of 16 points is their best start to a Premier League season since 2007, and Wenger's outfit are the only side to have scored in all seven of their league games. Arsenal are in a terrific run of form stretching back into last season, winning 13 of their last 17, and losing just once.

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