The Premier League returns as Arsenal prepare for one of the trickiest home fixtures of the season: West Bromwich Albion with Tony Pulis leading the charge.
After a simple yet gritty win over Doncaster Rovers in the League cup, Arsenal are back in the Premier League on monday night with West Brom at the door.
Having seen United, Spurs, Liverpool all basically edging out a win, Arsenal will be aware of the precedent of winning at all costs that is being set this match week by these teams.
Perhaps that is their biggest lesson to keep in mind when facing a Tony Pulis team who will look to frustrate his visitors, implementing a defensively sound shape and structure, suffocating the space in the final third, especially in central areas, and restricting the time that the Gunners’ playmakers have on the ball.
Ahead of the match on monday here is the Arsenal and West Brom team news and injury update :
Arsenal Team News :
Arsene Wenger has already spoken about how Calum Chambers is out for approximately two weeks due to a recurrence of a hip problem and about Danny Welback’s groin injury ruling him out for a month.
Meanwhile Theo Walcott also received a knock at the Emirates in the cup, and was replaced by Alex Iwobi in the 76th minute however the Boss has allayed any fears of a long term delay terming it as just a hit and he should be back on the bench for mondays clash.
Players out – Santi Cazorla (Achilles) , Welback (groin), Chambers (hips), Coquelin (Hamstring)
Mesut Ozil is in contention to return to the Arsenal match day squad for Monday’s Premier League clash with West Brom after sitting out last weekends match vs Chelsea with an knee inflamation.
Provisional squad : Cech, Ospina, Mertesacker, Holding, Koscielny, Monreal, Mustafi, Bellerin, Nelson, Kolasinac, Ramsey, Wilshere, Xhaka, Elneny, Ozil, Giroud, Walcott, Sanchez, Iwobi, Lacazette.
West Brom Team News :
West Brom unfortunately do not have any players completely out for the match but they have three players doubtful who will undergo further tests to determine their availability.
Chris Brunt (calf) will be assessed along with Nacer Chadli (thigh) and Oliver Burke (hamstring) where in a selection boost, Jake Livermore is available and ready to be selected after being rested for the last two matches.
Meanwhile the Venezualan striker Salomón rondón is expected to start along with new loanee from Paris Krychowiak behind him.
Provisional squad : Foster, Myhill, Nyom, Evans, Dawson, McAuley, Yuning, Hegazi, Gibbs, Brunt, Yacob, Morrison, Field, McClean, Chadli, Barry, Rondon, Rodriguez, Burke, Robson-Kanu, Krychowiak, Livermore.
Quite an physical affair we expect after going through the West Brom rooster.
On the Statistical front however there are quite a few of these to help us stay at ease with the prospect of welcoming West Brom at the Emirates in a game that we must win at all costs.
This will be the 10th time that Tony Pulis has managed a team at the Emirates Stadium in the Premier League – he’s lost every one of the previous nine there with a combined score of 20-3.
The Baggies have suffered nine defeats away to Arsenal in the Premier League, a joint-high for them in the competition along with the number of losses to Chelsea.
West Brom have won only five of their last 35 Premier League away matches (W5 D14 L16).
Quite pleasing to hear I am sure. However given it is Tony Pulis we expect quite a quite a round and defensive structure at the centre of the park from them making it very very difficult for our midfielders to create chances.
Will be quite a thing seeing Gibbo in that awful Baggies jersey after his summer transfer there !!!
Here is a short highlight of his best of times here during his 16 year career at the club.