We’ve got an excellent chance to move top of the table this weekend, with our clash against West Bromwich Albion coinciding with some tough fixtures for our Premier League rivals. We’ve still got a huge number of injuries to contend with though, and in the English top flight there are no easy games.
Historically, we’ve got an excellent record against West Brom, but Tony Pulis has often been a thorn in our side. We should be more than capable of coming away from the Hawthorns with all three points, but we can’t take the Baggies for granted.
Arsene Wenger delivered some team news ahead of the trip, with the Frenchman delivering both good and bad news (via Arsenal.com).
Hector Bellerin is back in full training, which is a huge boost. Hopefully he’s fit enough to start, as Mathieu Debuchy has been dire when called upon this season. We’ve quickly become reliant on the young Spaniard, and it’s even more important with the injuries we’ve got ahead of him on the right flank.
Unfortunately there’s less good news further up the pitch, with Aaron Ramsey and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain still unavailable. The manager suggests both will be available on Monday, so could feature in our upcoming Champions League match or in the Premier League the following weekend.
Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere, and Danny Welbeck are still some way off, and we can’t start to think about calling on them anytime soon.
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The manager claims he’s unsure about the state of mind of Laurent Koscielny in the wake of the Paris attacks, but will talk to his compatriot ahead of the game and evaluate his condition.
Alexis Sanchez could do with a rest, but it doesn’t seem like he’ll be getting it this weekend unfortunately; who would replace him?
West Brom have a few concerns of their own, with key duo Ben Foster and Gareth McAuley unavailable. Foster is a long term injury, while McAuley is suspended for the game. Chris Brunt is also a doubt, with the Northern Irishman pulling out of international duty with a groin injury.
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We’ve been in excellent form in the Premier League recently, while the Baggies have been showing spotty form at best. With Manchester City up against Liverpool, we could well be top of the table come the end of the weekend.