It’s three Premier League games without a win for Arsenal and four in all competitions, but they’ve got a great chance to kill off that ever-growing monkey on their back when West Brom visit the Emirates. Arsenal have won seven of the last nine clashes in all competitions between the sides.
The Baggies have been the surprise packages in this season’s Premier League. They’ve lost their last two but have still made their best start to the season. Losing to Swansea is no disgrace, but defeat at home to Stoke has a grim ‘coming hurtling back down to earth’ feeling to it.
On the back of West Brom’s sudden struggles, Arsenal are 4/7 to win to win with the Baggies at 11/2. We’ll see how long that lasts.
Arsenal might be without Lukas Podolski, ( hamstring) and Theo Walcott (calf injury) while defender Laurent Koscielny (thigh) are also missing. West Brom should be at full strength apart from goalkeeper Ben Foster who’s recovering from a second groin operation.
Arsenal 2-0 West Brom
Aston Villa 0-0 Stoke
Southampton 1-0 Reading
Sunderland 1-3 Chelsea
Swansea 3-4 Norwich
Wigan 2-2 QPR
FULL TIME: Arsene Wenger’s side weren’t anywhere near their best but take all three points. A dodgy penalty sent them on their way after Cazorla threw himself to the ground after Steven Reid’s tackle. The Baggies were unhappy that play was allowed to continue after Popov was fouled which resulted in their second spot kick and Arteta’s second goal.
The Gunners move to sixth in the table while it’s back to the drawing board for Steve Clarke as West Brom suffer their third loss in a row and never really looked like taking anything from the game today.
4.47 The Gunners just playing for time now and have looked more themselves with Wilshere playing a leading role.
4.45 Chance for Podolski on his left foot but he scoops it over the bar. Four minutes of injury time left.
4.43 Olsson blocks Wilshere’s hot at the edge of the box and West Brom break forward with Shane Long.
4.40 Cazorla replaced by Squillaci
4:33 Seven minutes left and all the talk is of Cazorla’s ‘dive’ for the first penalty. Steve Clarke not a happy man at half-time apparently and the FA may look into this.
4.28 The lively Oxlade-Chamberlain is replaced by Coquelin and Rosicky is preparing to come on. Yellow card for Steven Reid after an elbow on Gervinho who has just been replaced by Rosicky.
4:25 Arsenal defending their 2-0 lead here and West Brom are 45/1 to get the draw and 500/1 to get the win.
4.24 The Baggies are furious as they thought Popov was fouled in the build up but Arsenal look on the road to all three points and Steve Clarke’s side face their third loss on the bounce.
4.23: PENALTY Oxlade Chamberlain brought down in the box and GOAL Arteta converts
4.21 On loan Lukaku replaces Peter Odemwingie
4.19 Gervinho gets a snap shot in six yards out but needed a better connection to trouble the keeper. Arsenal 11/10 to get the next goal as they continue to press forward.
4.18 Great block from Steven Reid from Gervinho as Southampton take the lead at home to Reading.
4.16 Poor header from Gervinho as Arsenal continue to press but West Brom haven’t given up yet and are still fighting. Yellow card for Chris Brunt for dissent.
4.13 Tempers getting a little frayed at the Emirates as Giroud booked.
4.1o: Free kick to West Brom for a foul on Shane Long comes to nothing and Arsenal go on the break.
4.00 The referee gets the second half underway.
Half-time: The referee blows for the break at the Emirates Stadium with Arsenal leading 1-0. Definitely not a penalty. West Brom’s Steven Reid never touched Cazorla and he’s gone down clutching his leg! Talks of suspensions already as he’s deceived the referee there.
3.45: Goal: Norwich are now 3-0 up away to Swansea and Chelsea are 2-0 up at Sunderland.
3.45: Oxlade-Chamberlain tries a spectacular overhead kick but it sails high over the crossbar.
3.43: Arsenal playing with plenty of pace and Wilshere, Arteta and Cazorla running the show. Two added minutes before the break as Arsenal get another corner which Arteta will take.
3.39: Good effort from Wilshere forces Myhill into another save and a corner for the home side which Long heads clear.
3.26: Podolski warms up on the sideline as Giroud is struggling. Great chance for the Gunners there as Wilshere can’t conect with a sliding effort from six yards out after starting the move.
3.32: Giroud has taken a heavy knock in the back and the ball’s been put out of play while he gets treatment. Arsenal are 4/6 to score the second goal.
3.28: GOAL: QPR have equalised through Ryan Nelsen at Wigan and Norwich are 1-0 up away to Swansea thanks to Steven Whittaker.
3.26: Some debate about that as Reid doesn’t look to have touched Cazorla even though he’s gone down like a tonne of bricks. West Brom 14/1 in-running now and Arsenal at 1-6.
3.24: GOAL: Arteta scores from the penalty spot for the Gunners.
3.23: Girvinho gave the Baggies defenders the slip there but there was no-one to meet it in the centre.
3.16: GOAL Wigan’s James McCarthy has put them 1-0 up at home to QPR while Fernando Torres has put Chelsea 1-0 up at Sunderland. Mabe Rafa Benitez will keep his job until Christmas after all.
3.15: Great cross from Oxlade-Chamberlain to Cazorla who just couldn’t get a good enough connection on it 12 yards out and the ball goes high and wide. Oxlade Chamberlain beginning to cause a few problems down the wing now though.
3.13: The West Brom defence shepherd Giroud out of danger after a through ball from Oxlade-Chamberlain. West Brom holding their shape well and are now into 9/2 in the in-running with Paddy Power betting to get a win.
3.11: Cazorla gets a shot away at the edge of the box but doesn’t trouble the keeper Myhill as Theo Walcott looks on from the stands. Will he still be at the Emirates come the end of January?
3.06: Nice break through the centre from Wilsere but Gervinho had strayed offside.
3.05: Macedonian international Goran Popov on loan from Dynamo Kiev is on for the injured Ridgewell.
3.05: Liam Ridgewell looks like he’s coming off for the Baggies as Steve Clarke’s scrambles to make a change.
3.04: First corner of the game to Arsenal, swung in past Giroud and Girvinho slices it across the goal. Should have hit the target there.
3.03: Arteta leaves a legin and Arsenal get a free-kick
3pm: And West Brom get the game underway
Team News :
Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Arteta, Wilshere, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Cazorla, Giroud, Gervinho.
West Brom:Myhill, Reid, Olsson, Ridgewell, McAuley, Morrison, Brunt, Mulumbu, Gera, Long, Odemwingie.