THE BATTLE FOR third place in the Premier League intensifies on Saturday when Arsenal welcome Norwich to the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal are in third position, 17 points behind the Manchester clubs who are locked in their own battle for the title.
The Gunners would not have been happy with the midweek results that saw victories for both Tottenham and Newcastle, who moved one point behind them in the fight for third place and the resulting Champions League berth.
But Arsene Wenger’s men remain in the box seat, knowing that wins in their final two outings against Norwich and away to West Bromwich Albion will be enough.
Arsenal were held to a 1-1 draw at Stoke City last weekend, with Robin van Persie cancelling out Peter Crouch’s opening goal at the Britannia Stadium.
The Gunners have conceded just three goals in their last six appearances at home in all competitions and are favourites to say goodbye to the Emirates faithful for another season with three points.Despite successive defeats by Liverpool, Blackburn and Manchester City, Norwich have already secured their Premier League status for another season and travel to Arsenal in search of their sixth away win of the campaign.
Norwich have produced mixed results in London this season, having defeated Tottenham and Queens Park Rangers while falling to Fulham and Chelsea.
Paul Lambert refused to blame fatigue after his side’s 3-0 drubbing at the hands of the Luis Suarez-inspired Liverpool last week and remains hopeful of a top half finish on the Premier League table come season’s end.
Attacking midfielder Elliott Bennett is determined to put in a good performance against Arsenal.
“It’s massively important to end on a bit of a high, because it would be a shame to waste all the hard work and some of the great things we’ve achieved this season and haven’t achieved in the last few games,” Bennett told the Norwich Evening News.”We have still got two football matches left that we really want to win. Hopefully at Arsenal we can put the Liverpool performance behind us and then against Aston Villa we can do the same.”
Grant Holt has failed to score in his last four appearances for Norwich but will be looking to add to his tally of 15 for the season and is likely to start up front at the Emirates.
Arsenal captain van Persie netted either side of half time as his team came from a goal down to defeat Norwich 2-1 at Carrow Road last time the sides met in November.