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Arsenal v WBA Preview, Injury News, Preferred XI & Prediction
Arsenal are at the Hawthorns again on Sunday to take on West Brom looking for a win to move back to the top of the Premier League table.
We fell to second spot after Liverpool beat Palace 3-1 on Saturday but can reclaim first if we avoid defeat, and move two points clear with a win.
We play West Brom less than two weeks after knocking them out of the Capital One Cup and they pushed us all the way that night, although we did have a severely weakened team out.
We head into the clash after Tuesday’s sensational display against Napoli that saw us take control of our Champions League group with a 2-0 win thanks to goals from Mesut Ozil and Olivier Giroud.
If we play like we did in the first half in midweek, the Baggies are in trouble. Whether we can replicate that kind of form again remains to be seen, but it should certainly be the benchmark from now on.
The bad news is that Bacary Sagna is out for three weeks after picking up a hamstring injury against Napoli. Carl Jenkinson will come in and has the opportunity to stake a claim for a regular first team spot.
Jack Wilshere was rested in midweek and while the team performed superbly without him, I’d like to see him recalled to the starting eleven at the expense of Mikel Arteta. I don’t want to see the Spaniard dropped for any other reason than I feel Aaron Ramsey and Mathieu Flamini deserve to start at the heart of our midfield after putting in some excellent performances there while Arteta was out. There is no reason to break up that partnership right now.
Tomas Rosicky wasn’t at his best on Tuesday but could do with the game-time and I like the look of a front three of Rosicky, Ozil and Wilshere behind Giroud. In a couple of weeks that could read Walcott, Ozil, Cazorla behind Giroud which goes to show the options we will have in the squad when the injured players return.
However, with Theo and Santi still unavailable they join Lukas Podolski and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on the sidelines for the West Brom game.
This is the team I’d like to start but I have a feeling Arsene will opt to keep Arteta in midfield, play Ramsey on the right and have either Wilshere or Rosicky on the left.
It’s going to be a tough game, make no mistake. The Baggies beat Manchester United at Old Trafford last weekend so will be full of confidence and have nothing to fear. However, we’re on a 10-game winning streak and haven’t lost away from home in 10 games as well, so I think we’ll bring three points back to north London. WBA 0-2 Arsenal
What are your thought ahead of the game?