Monday, 25 September 2017

Arsenal v West Brom Preview

It was a very long weekend without Arsenal and I had to console myself with a Ska and Reggae festival in Bray to find some form of entertainment. It's a little hard to understand how we are playing on a Monday night with a trip to Belarus on Thursday night to come, but such is life for those ploughing the backwaters of the Europa League.With all of the top teams winning this weekend it's up to us to do our bit and at least it's on our home patch.

We've a pretty good record at home to Tony Pulis teams even if he has enjoyed getting one over on us on the road far too often in his Premier League managerial career. We won at home to West Brom last season, but the away game against them was an awful performance and I was lucky to miss out on seeing it on the TV. It's hardly lucky to have to attend your aunt's funeral though, but occasions like those are more important than Arsenal no matter what some might think.

When it comes to team selection the manager doesn't have too many headaches even if our top scorer so far is out injured. The injury to Danny Welbeck must surely see the return of Alexis Sanchez to the fold as he starts a league game for the first time this season. I would imagine Mesut Ozil will have recovered from the knock that kept him out of the 0-0 at Chelsea and will take his place ahead of Alex Iwobi tonight too.

Otherwise I expect the same team that played so well at Chelsea and more of the same commitment and concentration is required. We have a run of five league games coming up where we need to be looking for maximum points and if we can do so in those games we will be in a far healthier position in the table. As it is a win tonight would see us go seventh and five points behind the two Manchester teams at the top of the table.

We have won both of our home games so far and scored seven goals in the process even if we did leave it very late in the first game against Leicester. Our troubles have come away from home where we don't have a goal so far and our only point was in that game at Chelsea last week. We haven't had the easiest start away from home, but our away results still leave a lot to be desired.

We know what we will get from West Brom tonight and we should be well drilled in how to deal with their set pieces and with them on the break too. They will more than likely sit deep and deny us any space behind them in an attempt to frustrate us and get us to over commit players in attack. It's a tried and trusted method that has worked too often against us for my liking, but I can't see them coming out and attacking us from the off. Maybe they will though and the shock of a team coming at us at home could be hard to take for some of our players.

Alexander Lacazette has scored in both of our home games so far and he probably should have scored away to Chelsea too. The manager has said he needs to toughen up a little for the English game, but I think he has settled in well so far. He couldn't be blamed for the debacle at Liverpool and I'm still not sure if his disallowed goal at Stoke was offside or not.

I'm pretty confident in us taking the three points tonight, but you never know with this Arsenal team. Our momentum has built a bit since that awful game at Liverpool and it's important to keep it going in the right direction tonight. If we're going to take advantage of teams above us playing each other over the next few weeks we have to start with the three points tonight.

That's it for today.

See you tomorrow.


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