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Preview: WBA v Arsenal, team news, Welbeck to start + prediction
Arsenal desperately need to get our Premier League campaign back on track with a win when we take on West Brom at the Hawthorns on Saturday lunchtime.
It’s safe to say it’s been a difficult few weeks at Arsenal as we’ve seen our league campaign implode and suffered a humiliating 10-2 aggregate defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
Defeats to Chelsea and Liverpool have seen us fall 16 points adrift at the top, which is nowhere near good enough for Arsenal, and it’s all led to growing pressure on Arsene Wenger to walk away this summer.
However, it’s time to put all the negativity behind us and concentrate on finishing the season strongly. The race for the top four is as tight as ever while we have a huge FA Cup semi final with Man City to prepare for.
Currently, we sit five points off fourth place but we have two games in hand on Liverpool and they face a tough trip to City on Sunday so we simply have to close the gap with a win at the Hawthorns.
But that won’t be easy as West Brom are a tough side these days and sit eighth in the table, despite losing their last two games, while we lost this fixture 2-1 last season so the boys are going to have to be on form.
Oxlade-Chamberlain is a doubt after picking up a hamstring problem against Lincoln last weekend but he trained today and hopefully he’ll be in contention tomorrow.
Gibbs looks set to miss out as he was unable to train this afternoon after suffering a knock against Lincoln so Monreal will come in at left-back.
Welbeck will return to the squad after missing the last two games through illness while Elneny has made a swift recovery from an ankle injury.
Ozil could be back in the starting eleven for the first time in three games after recovering from illness.
As for the Baggies, Philips and Morrison will be missing but Rondon could be recalled to the starting eleven.
If The Ox isn’t fit enough to start, I’d like to see Ramsey alongside Xhaka [please not Coquelin!]. I’d love to see a front three of Walcott, Sanchez and Welbeck playing together as with Ozil supplying the bullets, that attack has a lot of potential.
West Brom: Foster, Dawson, McAuley, Evans, Nyom, Fletcher, Livermore, Brunt, Chadli, McClean, Rondon.
These are the types of tricky games we have to win if we’re going to qualify for the Champions League because we can’t rely on the players to turn up for the big games against the likes of Tottenham, United or City. I’m expecting an extremely difficult game tomorrow but hopefully the players can dig deep and bring home the three points. I’m going for a 2-1 win. WBA 1-2 Arsenal