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West Brom vs Arsenal - Weekend Preview

Bhuvanesh
CONTRIBUTOR
Modified 07 Oct 2013, 16:33 IST
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Arsenal Training Session

The league leaders travel to West Brom with an impressive away record. They will be keen on extending that even further – Arsenal have won their last 12 away matches, a run which started with a win against Bayern Munich in last year’s Champions league, which is a club record.

This is Arsenal’s best start to the Premier League in 6 years, with 15 points out of a possible 18 from 6 matches. They have fought well and have come back strongly after an unfortunate, bitter loss at home against Aston Villa.

The form of Aaron Ramsey and the arrival of one Mesut Ozil seem to have changed everything for the Gunners. They have won all their matches in all competitions after the first day misfortune. The Gunners are brimming with confidence.

In their last game, when they played the Italian giants Napoli in the Champions league fixture at home, Arsenal dominated them like they were a mere average team and won easily. The win also ended Napoli’s unbeaten start to their season. This certainly was not a simple thing to do. It shows the class and quality of the players at the disposal of Arsenal.

What is even more surprising and at same time frightening is that this is the kind of form they are in without the likes of Cazorla, Podolski and Walcott – to name a few. Imagine what this team will be able to do do with a fully fit squad?

The Gunners have the best midfield in the Premier League at the moment, and they are most definitely the team to beat this season.

Match preview – Arsenal vs West Brom:

West Brom away should not be counted as a easy fixture – not after what they did to Manchester United last weekend. They have won their last two matches and will be riding on that confidence.

Also, their rising  star Berahino is in top form. He has been consistently appearing on the score sheet for them; whenever he is given a chance, that is. In the last match against United he was given the green signal with the injury to Scott Sinclair and he readily capitalized on it. He scored the winning goal against Machester United at Old Trafford last week with a beautiful finish.

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One more Baggies’ player who can cause trouble for the Gunners is Morgan Amalfitano. He was involved in both the goals against United last weekend. He opened the scoring for the Baggies and set up the next one. He would be waiting to make amends for the penalty he missed against Arsenal in the Capital One cup which cost them dearly.

Expected team from WBA : Myhill, Ridgewell, McAuley, Olsson, Jones, Yacob, Mulumbu, Amalfitano, Sessegnon, Anichebe, Berahino

Expected Formation: 4-4-2

Last 5 Matches: DLDWW

Arsenal’s attack will be spearheaded by their in-form Rambo and the magician in boots, Ozil. Ramsey has been outstanding for the Gunners, scoring 8 times in all competitions this season. Arsene Wenger famously said before the start of the season:

Once Aaron Ramsey starts scoring goals, he won’t stop.

It has become more than true. He along with Giroud tops the scoring sheet for Arsenal with four goals each. To complement this, Ozil already has three assists to his name in the Premier League, having played just three games. This is something to worry about for any team which will face Arsenal.

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Apart from this, Arsenal are playing a more dynamically fluid midfield setup after the arrival of Ozil. The three attacking midfielders in their famous 4-2-3-1 setup keep switching positions throughout the game and confuse their opponents. This has been a problem for anyone marking their midfielders in the past few games. It’s working out brilliantly. This also gives Ozil the ability to wander and spot the gaps to create the key chances.

Oliver Giroud has been scoring in every single game except the last league match against the Swans. He would be expecting to get back into the goal scoring tempo again in the Premier League and reclaim the number one spot in the League Top Scorers table.

The Gunners will be missing out on Bacary Sagna after he picked up an injury which will keep him away for at least two weeks. Jenko will be expected to fill in for him. This might also be a concern with Sessegnon and Amalfitano attacking from the right side. Jenko has been a little  inconsistent this season. The team will have to hope he puts up a good show.

Expected team from Arsenal: Szczesny, Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Arteta, Flamini, Wilshere, Ozil, Ramsey, Giroud.

Expected Formation: 4-2-3-1

Last 5 Matches: WWWWW

Match prediction :

WBA 0 – 2 Arsenal.

Published 06 Oct 2013, 16:44 IST
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