Arsenal face West Bromwich Albion at the Emirates on Monday in the Gunners’ sixth match of the season.
After a fairly disastrous start to the campaign, with defeats to Liverpool and Stoke and a last-minute win against Leicester City, Arsenal have started to get their season back on track, with wins against Bournemouth, FC Köln and Doncaster Rovers, as well as a draw against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
What better time then, to have the season derailed again by Tony Pulis? That’s what faces the Gunners if they don’t show up on Monday, and at this stage Arsenal won’t want to fall any further behind than they already are.
After making his return to the side against Doncaster Rovers, receiving his first start of the campaign, Calum Chambers is now out injured again until after the international break, according to Wenger’s pre-match press-conference on Arsenal.com. Theo Walcott is a doubt, and Danny Welbeck’s latest target is the Watford game on 14 October.
Jack Wilshere survived his first 90 minutes for Arsenal in literally years (September 2014 was the last time that happened), so he’ll be available, but is seemingly still being eased back into the action.
Meanwhile Mesut Özil is back in team training, so he could be back for Monday as well.
Mustafi, Koscielny, Čech, Xhaka, Ramsey, Kolašinac, Monreal, Bellerín and Lacazette were all rested against Doncaster, so they should be ready to go.
With all that in mind, here’s my predicted starting XI:
(3-4-2-1): Čech; Koscielny, Mustafi, Monreal; Kolašinac, Xhaka, Ramsey, Bellerín; Alexis, Özil; Lacazette.
West Brom currently sit two places above Arsenal in 10th, so on the surface they’re doing pretty well at the moment. However, after three straight wins in all competitions at the start of the campaign, they’ve lost two and drawn two, so they’re win-less in four.
To add to that, the Baggies have failed to score two goals on a single occasion in the league this season. Only four teams have scored fewer than West Brom’s total of four goals. So if you were expecting a Tony Pulis side to come to the Emirates, sit back and try to hit Arsenal on the break, well, you are probably right.
Arsenal have a great head-to-head record against West Brom, winning every game at the Emirates since 2010. In the 14 matches home and away during that time period, Arsenal have won 10, drawn two and lost two. However, those two defeats came in the last four matches, so it’s not all good news.
How To Watch
The match kicks off at 20:00 UK time on Monday 25 September.
If you live in the UK, the TV channel showing the match is Sky Sports Main Event.
For all other countries, see the list on LiveOnSat.com.