Arsenal vs West Bromwich Albion
The Gunners go into this match against Tony Pulis’ West Brom after a nervy start to this Premier League campaign, with West Brom having taken more points than Arsenal in the opening five games of this season.
In addition to this, the Baggies impressed the last time these two sides faced each other; taking three points at the Hawthorns in a physical 3-1 win against Arsene Wenger’s team.
Despite this, West Brom have not won at the Emirates stadium in the past seven years, losing every fixture in North London. With West Brom the visitors, a tight physical game is almost inevitable. The Baggies will look to frustrate Arsene Wenger’s men, and will most likely look for goals through set pieces.
Mesut Ozil is likely to make a return to the Arsenal team after missing last week’s 0-0 draw at Chelsea. The German midfielder has returned to full training after suffering an inflamed knee.
Alexis Sanchez is also likely to start after coming off the bench last week. They will likely replace Danny Welbeck; who will be side-lined until after the international break with an injury, and Alex Iwobi on the wings of Arsenal’s new 3-4-2-1 system. Jack Wilshire has been making steady progress in his return to full fitness, playing ninety minutes against Doncaster mid-week.
It is however unlikely Arsene Wenger will consider him for premier league minutes yet, especially against a physical side. Arsene Wenger is likely to keep new signing Alexandre Lacazette up front, despite a slow start to the season.
Tony Pulis has a number of players who will need to pass fitness tests to be in consideration for Monday’s game, including Nacer Chadli and Oliver Burke in midfield, with Jake Livermore also being handed time off. Ex-Arsenal left back Kieran Gibbs is likely to start against his old club, and he will be looking to impress against the club that let him go for £9m this summer, despite the offer of a new contract.
Despite West Brom’s clear physical strategy which often proves a stumbling point for Arsenal in the Premier League, the Gunners played a good game at Chelsea last week, and with key players returning from injury Arsenal should take the three points.
Written by Ed Martin.