Arsenal-Norwich City Preview

The Associated Press

Championship Sunday has a much different meaning for Norwich City.

Arsenal may be looking ahead to another.

The Canaries may be looking to leave one last good impression on the Premier League, as they welcome the Gunners to what is likely to be a sombre Carrow Road on Sunday.

After three seasons in the top flight, Norwich (8-9-20) are headed back to the Championship unless they pull off an escape act that would make Harry Houdini blush.

The Canaries are 18th in the table, three points back of West Bromwich Albion, who host Stoke City. However, Norwich are 17 goals behind the Baggies in the goal-differential tiebreaker.

Their impending relegation could be credited to their dreadful 2-3-14 away record, scoring 11 goals while giving up a whopping 44. They haven't won on the road since beating West Brom 2-0 on Dec. 7, going 0-3-8.

The Canaries have also been shut out in four straight away matches, including last weekend's scoreless meeting with Chelsea.

"I think that's been one of our biggest downfalls, our away form," midfielder Jonny Howson told the team's official website. "There have been just two away wins all season, you're obviously going to go nowhere with that kind of form."

Perhaps concluding the season at home could help since Norwich are 6-6-6 there while scoring one more goal than they've conceded.

They also won 1-0 in their most recent meeting there with Arsenal on Oct. 20, 2012, but they've been outscored 7-2 in two subsequent defeats in London.

While relegation is a near certainty for Norwich, Arsenal are assured of wrapping up another season qualifying for Champions League for a 17th straight time.

With a fourth-place finish all but mathematically secured, the Gunners are afforded the luxury of resting players ahead of next weekend's FA Cup final against Hull City, as they aim for their first trophy since 2005.

Arsenal enter the league finale winning four straight matches while outscoring opponents 10-1. They've also compiled three straight clean sheets thanks to goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, who needed to make just one save in a 1-0 win over West Brom last weekend.

"It is important to keep the momentum going and against Norwich it will be no different," midfielder Aaron Ramsey told the team's official website. "The final is a week later and we don't want any disappointments going into that so we will be approaching the game the same as any other. (We want) the win so that we go into the final full of confidence.

"When you're on a run it is hard to stop you and hopefully we can keep that going."

Olivier Giroud is on a run of his own, scoring three goals in four matches after tallying against West Brom. He was one of three Gunners on the score sheet in a 3-1 victory over Norwich on April 13, 2013, and got two assists in a 4-1 home victory Oct. 19.

Mesut Ozil had two goals in that meeting.

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