Arsenal take on West Bromwich Albion on Saturday in a game which means more to their season than perhaps any other before this one. Arsene Wenger is under intense scrutiny at the Emirates with protests erupting at every game and a win is vital at this stage.
Alexis Sanchez is undoubtedly Arsenal’s most potent attacking force in the game with 17 goals and nine assists to his name already in the Premier League, and it is interesting to note that the second best goal scorers for Arsenal. Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott have not even hit double figures yet and are both at eight.
West Brom under Tony Pulis have of course been the team to sit back and soak the pressure up so Arsenal should have plenty of the ball to themselves. However, evading the deep block by Pulis’ side is going to prove a challenge with players like Claudio Yacob in their squad. Yacob has completed more tackles than any member of either squad, an achievement that should not go unnoticed.
In the 21 games played between the two sides Arsenal have near complete domination with 15 wins and 3 draws. West Brom’s cause is helped slightly by the fact that out of the three times they have beaten the Gunners, two of them have come at the Hawthorns and that should be a boost to them since they are at home for this one.
The form table for both sides is abysmal, especially by Arsenal’s standards with three losses and two wins in their last five while West Brom have the same number of wins but have managed to draw one game, losing one lesss.
In 20 years of his reign at Arsenal, never has Arsene Wener faced a crisis of the scale that he faces now as he prepares to battle a more than capable top six bracket of teams for his usual top four finish in a climate when that might not be enough any more.
The West Brom team have a big chance for an upset with Arsenal starting shakily every single game since the Bayern Munich loss away.