Friday, 7 December 2012

West Bromwich Albion (H)

Apologies once again that I didn't post before the Olympiacos game, luckily it wasn't of great importance and I think that was reflected by the side we fielded in which just 3 of the players from the Swansea match started. It's also lucky it didn't matter due to the scoreline, but there you go, we're through none the less.

After doing the business in Europe we need to get back to business in the league and drag ourselves out of the hole we're currently in. After Wenger saying more times than you can count that "we were not sharp", he has rested a lot of the first team including players who are clearly struggling (Cazorla, Arteta) so that won't be an excuse at the weekend. With any luck we won't need one against a West Brom side who have dipped a bit in recent weeks.

The bad news for us is that we have lost both Podolski and Walcott for this one, two players that can create chances and score them. Walcott also seems to have been the key to a lot of our pace this season and without him at times we have been lethargic. We are also without Kosciely at the back and Sagna faces a late test on his foot but is expected to miss out. With all that in mind I would expect to see Gervinho and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on the wings with Giroud returning to his lone striker role. Carl Jenkinson will fill in at right back if Sagna doesn't make it.

West Brom have been performing well this season but have begun to falter over the last couple of weeks. That said they still boast the attacking power of Odemwingie, Long and Morrison who are all more than capable of bagging a goal on their day. An area that I am concerned about is the midfield, Mulumbu is basically a tank and if he is on form he could give our rather smaller trio some problems, that said his pace isn't amazing so speed could be key. Ben Foster is also still out so they start Myhill, hopefully we can create some chances and really work the American.

I must admit that I am feeling slightly optimistic about tomorrow, despite being without a few key players. I don't think it will be pretty and I don't think it will be convincing but I can see us nicking it by a goal. COYG!

Prediction: Arsenal 2-1 WBA