West Bromwich Albion-Arsenal
Barclays Premier League
Kick off: November 29th, 2014 1245 GMT
After the massive win against Dortmund, in which we secured qualification for the Champions League knockout stages, it is time to change focus and get back to the grind of the Premier League. Arsenal have been well below expectations so far this season, and have suffered back to back defeats against Swansea and Manchester United.
Today’s game against the Baggies gives us a chance to rectify that. While West Brom have not exactly done badly this season, in terms of quality Arsenal are far superior and it is time we made that count on the field. The team Wenger has picked today is well suited for the task of bringing home the three points.
Between the sticks, we have keeper Emiliano Martinez. While he is still untested, injuries to our two international keepers gives him a chance in the Premier League. He was good in the game against Dortmund, and should be able to continue in the same vein here.
In defence, we have Chambers, Mertesacker, Koscielny and Monreal. The return of Koscielny to full fitness allows Wenger to name his strongest center back pairing and I expect us to be much more assured in defence today (fingers crossed) and also more threatening from set pieces. Monreal has been rewarded for his good performances, getting picked ahead of Gibbs at left back.
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The injury to Mikel Arteta sees Matheiu Flamini picked as a defensive midfielder. The Frenchman is highly experienced and should be able to fulfil his duties well, provided he is not beaten for pace. His partner in midfield, Aaron Ramsey, is yet to show his entire potential this season but seems to slowly be getting there.
In the advanced positions, we have Cazorla, Welbeck and Sanchez. There is no reason to change a perfectly fine arrangement and hopefully Cazorla will be able to continue his form from the Dortmund game. Welbeck is picked as a winger, probably inevitable considering Giroud is back and he is very unreliable in front of goal. Hopefully he will continue to show the same workrate that he does up front.
Up front, Giroud makes his first starting appearance. The Frenchman seems to be in sharp touch, hopefully he will be able to find the net again.
Martinez, Chambers, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Ramsey, Flamini, Welbeck, Cazorla, Sanchez, Giroud.
Macey, Gibbs, Bellerin, Rosicky, Ox, Podolski, Campbell.