A trip to the Hawthorns gives Arsenal a chance to move back into the top four – but how will they do it?
Both teams are likely to line up with a 4-2-3-1, although differing – a less mobile defence lays behind a dangerous, quick Baggies front four that can cause damage when given space to run into.
Of course, Arsenal use Alexis Sanchez, Alex Iwobi and Theo Walcott as a quicker, pressing front three. In addition, West Brom’s double pivot are likely to sit back, while Aaron Ramsey may be given free reign to join Mesut Ozil and make late runs, almost creating a 4-1-2-3 for Arsenal.
The personnel matchups favour Arsenal heavily. Salomon Rondon is in poor form and is unlikely to be prolific against a fit Laurent Koscielny. At the other end, Allan Nyom and Craig Dawson may struggle against Iwobi and Walcott’s pace. The interesting battle here will be in midfield – we have Chadli against Xhaka, who will need to keep his
The interesting battle here will be in midfield, with former Spurs midfielder Nacer Chadli against Granit Xhaka, who will need to keep his head. As well as that, West Brom’s tough defensive midfielders against Ozil and the onrushing Ramsey. The latter will, in my opinion, be key to a game against a compact Tony Pulis side.
It’ll be a question of how well the Gunners go into the game, mentally more than anything else. Their last Premier League fixture was way back on 4 March, since then they’ve been embarrassed by Bayern Munich and taken a free hit and National League side, Lincoln City. Coming up against a well-oiled machine in the shape of West Brom is likely to be the last thing they wanted to see.
However, taking West Brom’s form into account, if Arsenal can recover from what has been an unforgiving few weeks, three points should be there’s for the taking at the Hawthorns on Saturday lunch time.