02 May 2014

Match Preview: Arsenal v. West Bromwich Albion, Emirates Stadium, May 4 8.30am (EST)

Will Poldi be celebrating again on Sunday?
(CC Licence / Wikimedia)
Arsenal's final home match of the 2013/14 season comes hot on the heels of St Totteringham's Day, and could provide more reason for Gooners to celebrate as a win will guarantee Arsenal fourth position in the League, and a spot in next season's Champions League qualifying rounds. Depending on the result of the Everton-Man City match on Saturday, the match may not have anything riding on it for the Gunners, but the Club's mindset should be on giving the home fans a proper send off. Arsenal have been on a good run of form since the FA Cup semi-final, winning each of their last three league matches, also scoring 3 goals in each. This upturn in form has coincided with the returns from injury of Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Özil, both of whom have looked to pick up where they left off before their injuries. The form of both has raised questions about what could have been, but in this space we want to look forward. No use crying over spilt milk. With just two games remaining before the Wembley trip, Arsène Wenger and his players will want to keep up their good form and carry some high morale in to the national stadium on May 17.

In other team news ... there is no news. It is likely the squad will be exactly the same as the one used against Newcastle on Monday night, and virtually definite that the starting XI will be the same. Kieran Gibbs is back in fitness training but will not risked on Sunday, while Wenger has confirmed that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jack Wilshere will also both miss out. Abou Diaby picked up a knock - quelle surprise - in his return to action for the Under-21s last week so will not
make the squad.

West Brom are looking increasingly safe for another season. They make the trip to London having earned their first home win under boss Pepe Mel, and sit 15th in the table. The Baggies are 4 points clear of the relegation zone, though have a game in hand against the clubs around them, most of whom are playing one of the title-challenging sides in their own run-ins. West Brom's form coming in to this fixtures is mixed, the Baggies having a record of 2-2-2 over their last six matches.

The Baggies will welcome Gareth McAuley back to the matchday squad after he missed their two previous games to a calf injury. Steven Reid is a doubt while Liam Ridgewell and Zoltan Gera will definitely miss out.

In the last 10 league matches between the two sides, Arsenal have a record of 7-2-1, and are unbeaten in the last 6. The Gunners have also scored in each of their 15 previous fixtures against West Brom.

Match facts:
  • Arsenal are unbeaten in their last 17 home league matches, last suffering defeat at the Emirates on the first day of the season.
  • West Brom are one of only three sides this season yet to have a player sent off.
  • The Gunners have kept 15 clean sheets in the league, second only to Chelsea's 17.
  • Arsenal have the second best record against bottom-half sides, with a record of 15-2-1 from 18 matches.

No comments:

Post a Comment