Arsenal face West Bromich Albion tonight at the Emirates knowing a win can secure a Champions League spot over Manchester United who are currently in fifth place.
Arsenal drew 1-1 in their last match against Crystal Palace last Saturday after a disappointing performance of missed many chances. Arsene Wenger will hope the Gunners can bounce back against West Brom tonight to win over the angry Arsenal fans.
West Brom suffered a 1-0 defeat to Watford last weekend with Saido Berahino missing two penalties. But, the Baggies look to be safe from relegation having gained 40 points so far this season.
Tony Pulis has never won a Premier League game at Arsenal, losing on each occasion. Although, the last meeting between these two sides saw West Brom defeat Arsenal on home soil by 2-1, with Arsenal being very unlucky with their missed chances. If West Brom do the double over Arsenal by winning at the Emirates tonight, this will be their first League double since 1961-1962. Alexis Sanchez edit: @Thegunnersgoldengirl West Brom celebrate their 2nd goal/ Getty Images
Arsenal have won only four of their last 13 Premier League games (D6, L3), which is only one more victory than West Brom during this time period. If the Gunners gain 3 points against the Baggies, they will have reached a milestone moment of winning 500 Premier League matches.
Santi Cazorla has returned to first team training this week but Arsene Wenger will not risk using the creative midfielder until he is fully fit again. Aaron Ramsey, Olivier Giroud, Per Mertesacker and Theo Walcott have all asked for a recall so it is likely that Wenger will make changes to the starting X1 chosen against Crystal Palace last weekend.
Arsene Wenger is under fire at the moment after fighting for fourth place yet again despite being likely title contenders at Christmas. Those missed opportunities last weekend caused Arsenal fans to become angry and as a result, the game against West Brom tonight will see the lowest audience (20,000 seats unsold) since the Emirates first opened.
Arsenal need to shift up a gear tonight. They have West Ham and Manchester United breathing down their knecks for a Champions League spot. If they do not secure 3 points against West Brom, they may well loose the opportunity to play in the Champions League.
Arsenal know how important this match is, not only for the club but mainly for their fans. When Arsenal know how much they need to secure 3 points, they usually do. West Brom aren’t going to be a major threat to Arsenal, but neither were Crystal Palace and they caught Arsenal off guard. They need to keep their heads up and put on a performance of a lifetime to stop the critics and angry fans.
3-0 Arsenal to prove the haters wrong.
I don’t see Wenger changing his starting X1 significantly but at the moment there is no leadership on the field and I think Arsene may replace Gabriel with Mertesacker. Petr Cech made a terrible error last weekend but he still has the vote of confidence and I can’t see Wenger punishing him for this.