Arsenal face West Brom at the Hawthorns on New Year’s Eve and if the 3-2 win over Crystal Palace is anything to go by, I’d say we’re in for a ‘treat’… and I use that term loosely.
The Gunners’ victory at Selhurst Park managed to showcase the best and worst of this current Arsenal team.
Going forward, our passing was slick. Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez were on fire while Alexandre Lacazette danced into space and Jack Wilshere drove play forward.
However, at the back, we looked like a bunch of headless chickens. You could almost hear the Laurel and Hardy theme tune in the background.
After losing 3-1 at the Hawthorns last season, I’m certainly concerned ahead of this one. In fact, we’ve not beat the Baggies on their turf since November 2014.
However, West Brom are no longer Tony Pulis’s boring beast, and Alan Pardew is a very different animal. I don’t expect it to be straight forward by any means but it should be easier than if the Chief Orc was still in charge.
Here are five more things Arsenal fans can expect from the trip to West Brom on Sunday.
1. Mustafi will be our only decent defender
Thank God we didn’t sell Shkodran Mustafi over the summer.
The 25-year-old was Arsenal’s only solid defender against Palace, making 10 clearances, winning eight defensive duels and winning four tackles. Oh and the centre-back also scored. Hopefully he continues to be a boss against the Baggies.
2. Alexis will have the game of his life
Arsenal’s clash against West Brom will probably be Alexis’ last game in red and white. Therefore, expect him to put on a real show.
Although Pep Guardiola’s side face Palace themselves the same day, there’s a chance his former coach could watch the highlights. Therefore, just like against the Eagles when he netted a brace, the Chilean will probably remember how to play football again at the Hawthorns.
3. Bellerin will still be broken
Hector Bellerin is currently playing as bad as we’ve ever witnessed but for some reason the 22-year-old is undroppable.
Therefore, I imagine he’ll once again get the nod against West Brom and continue to make surging runs forward while not actually doing anything with the ball once he gets to the opposition’s area.
4. Chambers will get another chance
Chambers’ performance against Palace started off well but very soon it became apparent that he was out of his depth against Wilfried Zaha.
Even so, I fully expect Arsene Wenger to give him the nod at centre-back again against West Brom. In the Frenchman’s defence, the 22-year-old needs experience and the only way for him to get that is to play him while Nacho Monreal is sidelined.
5. Arsenal will miss Rambo
There are few players Arsenal miss more than Aaron Ramsey and with the Welshman sidelined until January with a hamstring injury, the Gunners are once again likely to struggle in midfield.
Hopefully, with Jack Wilshere on the pitch and Mesut Ozil running his butt off, we won’t be a complete shambles but never say never.