Saturday, October 5
West Bromwich Albion v Arsenal
Arsene Wenger will hope that his side can maintain their recent form and momentum to get maximum points vs West Bromwich Albion today at the Hawthorns.
The Gunners are currently sitting at the top of the league table having won 5 leagues in a row. On the other hand, their opponents are also coming to the game with great confidence after beating the defending champions (Manchester United) on their own back yard.
For Arsenal, their recent injury miss is Bacary Sagna who will be sidelined for 2-3 weeks due to a hamstring injury. Carl Jenkinson is set to replace the French right back.
Other than that, Theo Walcott, Santi Cazorla, Yaya Sanogo, Lukas Podolski, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Abou Diaby are all still recovering from their respective long-term injuries.
For West Brom, Scott Sinclair is out of the clash with a hamstring problem. Victor Anichebe is also a doubt for the game (groin injury). Morgan Amalfitano is expected to make the starting lineup after scoring in two consecutive league games.
West Brom: Myhill; Jones, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell; Yacob, Mulumbu, Amalfitano, Sessegnon, Berahino; Anichebe
Arsenal: Szczesny; Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs; Flamini, Wilshere, Ramsey, Gnabry, Ozil; Giroud
Arsenal will mostly go with their usual 4-2-3-1 formation with Flamini leading the midfield from the pivot. Injury to Walcott means, less paced Gnabry will be used in the wings reducing their directness and their ability to produce fast counters. But they can neutralize that deficiency with their quick passing moves.
What more interesting concerning this Arsenal team is, they are ready to take a new route (plan B) when their trademark beautiful football fails to yield its rewards. In most of the games this season, Arsenal played their usual free flowing football in the first half of the games. After taking the lead, Arsenal are now ready to adjust their line of defense and shift into a counter attacking mode during the later stages of the games.
One can expect the same today. Arsenal to start the match with a missile-like momentum and later on shifting to their defensive plan b. Meanwhile, West Brom will look to play with two banks of defence right from the start to contain the early Arsenal pressure and will try to hit them on the break.
Arsenal: Possession, through balls, Offside traps and the ability to finish of chances.
West Brom: Counter attacks, long balls and the ability to protect the lead.
West Brom: LDLDWW
SoccerSouls says: 1-2