Arsenal face West Brom in the Premier League on Saturday.
Off the back of a year to forget, Arsenal did still manage to win both their first and last Premier League matches of 2020.
While the rest is best left forgotten, kicking off 2021 with a win against Sam Allardyce’s West Brom is the perfect start to what is hoped to be fresh beginnings. On top of that, it’d mean Arsenal will have won three consecutive Premier League matches for the first time this campaign.
Victories against Chelsea and Brighton have significantly lifted the mood in north London, from utter despair and agony to elation in the space of just four days. Sadly, that doesn’t mean the Gunners are suddenly a good team. Far from it.
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They face one of the few sides doing worse than them this season, on a ground they’ve not tasted victory on in their last three Premier League visits. With a new man at the helm for the Baggies, it’ll be the third different boss to host Arsenal in the last three encounters at the Hawthorns.
What will that constitute? Well, Allardyce knows precisely how he wants his teams to set up, and it isn’t pretty. He’s yet to taste victory in his three matches since taking charge, with his side having just ten shots across those 270 minutes.
You get the picture.
However, this is the kind of fixture where Arsenal could come unstuck. Chelsea and Brighton were both willing to commit men, even just beyond the halfway line, providing Mikel Arteta‘s side with greater space to expose. They won’t be granted such freedoms on Saturday.
After this fixture Arsenal can enjoy the pleasantries of a one week break before FA Cup duty, so whether he opts to rest anyone will be interesting to see. Here’s your preview.