The team news however couldn’t have been much worse after it was confirmed by Wenger that Arsenal’s most dangerous player this season, Theo Walcott, is out with injury. He is accompanied on the sidelines by German Lukas Podolski and right-back Bacary Sagna. Each of three are fundamental to the first-team, although the latter two have not been effective as Theo has been season.
On the positive side however, the return of Tomas Rosicky in midweek could mean that he will play through the middle with Cazorla starting on the wing. The Czech international was easily Arsenal’s best player against Olympiacos and his withdrawal at half-time may mean Arsene is ready utilise Rosicky in this upcoming clash.
The Baggies have had a dream start to the Premier League and lie in fifth position behind Tottenham on goal difference only. The Baggies great start however has begun to stutter with back-to-back losses in recent weeks, but there is no doubt they will come to Emirates knowing Arsenal are looking as vulnerable as they have ever been in recent years.
This one is certainly down to what Arsenal turns up on the day. We have had poor performances as of late, but Rosicky may be able to bring something new to the team with his silky skills and driving runs through the middle. If I were a betting man, I would hate to choose this one as you just don’t know how Arsenal are going to do week-in week-out.
on the latest issues…
Lukas Podolski and Theo Walcott (calf) are out.Bacary Sagna (foot) and Laurent Koscielny(thigh) are not back. From Tuesday night in Greece there are no new injuries so we have a selection from the combined squad of Tuesday and Saturday.
on Podolski’s injury…
It is a hamstring. It should be short-term.
on Andre Santos…
He will not be ready for Saturday but he is not far away with an abdominal injury.
Jenkinson Mertesacker Vermaelen (c) Gibbs
- Arsenal have won just three of their last 10 Premier League home games (W3 D4 L3), and their main orchestrator Santi Cazorla has provided only one assist in his last 11 Premier League appearances.
- The Baggies have never kept a clean sheet in their 12 Premier League games against Arsenal, conceding a massive 28 goals in total, and have kept only one clean sheet in their last 24 Premier League away games.
- In the last six league meetings between the Gunners and West Brom, there have been five goals scored in the opening 10 minutes.
- Arsenal have scored 5+ goals in four Premier League home games in 2012, more than any other side.
- Peter Odemwingie has scored in two of his three Premier League appearances against Arsenal.
- 63% (10 of 16) of the goals Arsenal have conceded this season have been down to unforced errors, a higher proportion than any other side.
- WBA have not lost three league games in a row since January, 33 games ago.
- Interesting, if the games lasted 80 minutes in the Premier League, West Brom would be second.
Arsenal 2 West Brom 1