Can the Gunners beat the Baggies?

Arsenal host West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League at the Emirates Stadium tonight (8.00pm kick-off UK time).

The Gunners go into tonight’s match in 12th position in the Premier League table.

Arsenal drew 0-0 with reigning champions Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last time out in the Premier League.

The Gunners have won their last seven Premier League games at the Emirates, their longest such run at home since April 2015 (nine successive wins).

Arsenal also have a 100% record at home this season. Winning both their Premier League matches against Leicester City and AFC Bournemouth. As well as a Europa League game against FC Koln and an EFL Cup tie against Doncaster Rovers.

West Bromwich Albion are in 10th position in the Premier League table.

Albion travel to the Emirates above their opponents in the table for the first time in the Premier League era.

After winning their first two Premier League matches of the season, West Brom have failed to win any of the subsequent three (D2, L1).

The Baggies have only won five of their last thirty-five away Premier League matches (W5 D14 L16).

Albion have scored in each of their last six away games in all competitions.

Head-to-Head

Arsenal dominate the head to head record between the two sides with 70 wins to 38. 30 games have been drawn.

The Gunners have won each of their last six Premier League matches at Emirates Stadium versus West Bromwich Albion, conceding only once.

The Baggies have suffered nine defeats away to Arsenal in the Premier League, a joint-high for them in the competition alongside away defeats to Chelsea.

West Brom are aiming to win successive league matches against Arsenal for the first time since 1977. The Baggies beat the Gunners 3-1 at the Hawthorns the last time the teams met on 18th March 2017.

September 25 is a special date for Albion fans when remembering games against the Gunners. Monday’s clash marks seven years since Roberto Di Matteo’s Baggies stunned Arsenal with a 3-2 win at the Emirates.

Key Men

Arsenal

If Alexandre Lacazette scores he will be the first Arsenal player in Premier League history to net in his opening three home appearances. Brian Marwood scored in his first three league appearances at home for Arsenal in September 1988 – prior to the Premier League era.

Alexis Sanchez will hope to get back into the Premier League starting 11. Sanchez has started 99 Premier League matches for Arsenal. Gilberto Silva is the only South American to reach a century of Premier League starts for Arsenal.

West Bromwich Albion

Gareth Barry is set to break Ryan Giggs’s record for most Premier League matches played in (both currently 632). Barry made his first appearance as a 17 year-old in 1998 for Aston Villa.

Kieran Gibbs is set to face his former team after joining the Baggies for £7m in the summer transfer window.

Team News

Arsenal

Mesut Ozil (knee) and Theo Walcott (knock) face fitness tests but are likely to be available.

Danny Welbeck (groin) and Francis Coquelin (hamstring) are set to miss at least three more weeks.

West Bromwich Albion

Jake Livermore is available after being rested for last weekend’s goalless draw against West Ham and the midweek Carabao Cup tie against Manchester City.

Chris Brunt (calf), Nacer Chadli (thigh) and Oliver Burke (hamstring) will be assessed but are doubts to be involved.

The Managers

Arsene Wenger

This is what Wenger had to say about the Baggies: “They have a way to deal with everybody, a strong defensive basis.

They have a culture of the Premier League after being there for a long time.

A manager who knows how the league work, a strong transition from defence to offense, very solid defensively, it’s difficult to play against them.”

He added this on getting Arsenal fans’ behind the team: “It is down to our performances, we want our fans not to have pre-conceived ideas.

We need a successful season, we need them to believe in us.

It depends on how focused we are in every game.

We can gain that through our performances.”

Tony Pulis

Tonight’s match means that Pulis will become the first West Brom manager to reach 100 Premier League games in charge of the club.

This will be the 10th time that Pulis has managed a team at the Emirates Stadium in the Premier League – he’s lost every one of the previous nine there with a combined score of 20-3.

“I’ve got a great record against them (Arsenal) at home for whichever clubs I’ve managed in the Premier League – but I must admit the record at their stadium is the opposite.

It would be nice to change that. It will be a real, real tough game but the players should take some confidence into it after their performance against Manchester City.

They are a top team with top players. You go there knowing it will be a really tough game. They have some outstanding individual players who can win games by themselves.

Irrespective of what the team are or are not doing those players can change games.

We’re looking forward to it, every time you go and play against one of the big clubs I think it’s fantastic to go and compete against them.”

We’ve got to get everybody fit and when we do, we’ll start looking at what we want to do.

I’ve got something in mind that I want to use and I think it will suit the players we’ve got. But I want them all fit first – then we will really be able to nail it down.

Hopefully, it will evolve into a shape and system that really suits these players.”

Match Officials

Referee: Bobby Madley
Assistants: Lee Betts, Marc Perry
Fourth official: Stuart Attwell

Prediction

Arsenal to win 3-1.

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