Iwan Roberts: ‘Norwich City need to match display of last Arsenal clash to stand a chance’

Norwich Manager Alex Neil and Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger shake hands at the end of the Barclays P

Norwich Manager Alex Neil and Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger shake hands at the end of the Barclays Premier League match at Carrow Road, Norwich. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

The game at the Emirates tomorrow evening is the first of four crucial games for Norwich City as they try and remain a Premier League club.

City now sit third from bottom after both Sunderland and Newcastle picked up valuable points last weekend.

I know the table never lies and after a long hard-fought season you finish where you deserve but both the North-East clubs have spent so much more time in the bottom three than the Canaries this season it would be so harsh if Norwich were relegated – but then again I suppose I am biased.

Both Newcastle and Sunderland have hit form just at the right, or the wrong time if you're a Norwich fan, where as the wheels have come off Norwich's survival hopes a bit after those defeats against Crystal Palace and Sunderland.

Norwich's late kick-off tomorrow means they will know how the other two have got on before the game against Arsenal begins.

They will know just what they have to do and as a player that can help you at times.

If I'm honest I wouldn't be surprised if both Newcastle and Sunderland win tomorrow.

Most Read

Newcastle are at home to FA Cup finalists Palace and Sunderland visit the Britannia Stadium where it looks like Stoke are already on their holidays having lost their last three games, conceding four goals in each of them.

The Emirates is a fantastic stadium. I love going there to work and actually I don't think there's a bad seat in the ground. The food in the press room is up there with the best of them – well maybe not quite as good as what you get at Stamford Bridge or the Etihad, however it's still very, very good.

Since beating Leicester back on February 14 Arsene Wenger's, inset, men have won just three of their last nine games and have seen their title hopes disappear after becoming the favourites (well in their own eyes they were) to win the league after that win against the Foxes.

However inconsistent their form has been of late they remain a magnificent side and are still fighting for that last Champions League position with Manchester United so they will be determined to heap more misery on Alex Neil and his players.

I thought Norwich were outstanding in the reverse fixture back in November last year. It was probably one of the club's best performances of the season and that's how they must perform tomorrow if they are to get anything from the game.

Over the last few years Norwich haven't enjoyed much success against Arsenal, in fact they've only beaten them once in their last 16 meetings and that was at Carrow Road back in 2012.

Norwich have never won at the Emirates.

Mind you they've only played there four times, losing three and that superb 3-3 in May 2012 is a game we all remember.

Norwich haven't beaten Arsenal away since the opening day of the 1992-93 season when they won 4-2 at Highbury with my good pal Mark Robins grabbing a brace after coming on as a substitute.

Norwich were losing that day by 2-0 but showed great character and resilience to come back and win the game.

That's the spirit the current squad are going to have to show if they are to avoid the drop.