West Brom: Johnstone; Furlong, Ajayi, O’Shea, Peltier; Sawyers, Robinson, Phillips, Gallagher, Diangana; Ahearne-Grant
Arsenal: Leno; Bellerin, Holding, Mari, Tierney; Xhaka, Ceballos, Smith Rowe; Aubameyang, Lacazette, Saka
West Brom vs Arsenal Score Prediction
Including the previous two fixtures, this will be the toughest of the lot.
Allardyce will relish the idea of watching the visitors pitter-patter around the West Brom box, go backwards and sideways and then lump a cross into the box for any one of the Baggies’ defenders to clear with ease.
It’s likely that will be the pattern throughout. Sods law is that the hosts will get one chance to score and take it, either clinch a narrow 1-0 win with a grand total of 12% possession or hold Arsenal to a draw.
That’s the obvious narrative facing Arteta’s side.
Them getting embarrassed by Leeds in their most recent fixture, also at home, was far from the ideal result. Even more so than before, they’ll escape into their shell in some variant of a 6-4-0 formation, and invite pressure – albeit slow, and far from troublesome pressure.
Incapable of breaking down sides in a low block, it might not be the perfect start to the season that Arsenal will have wanted. In truth, this fixture ranks very lowly wanted games to start the year. What’s worse, the Baggies’ keeper is bang in form.
Should Arsenal claim three points then they’ll have to score early. Simple as that. Get one or two in the first half and they can rest easy. Otherwise, it’s going to be 90 minutes of torture. Probably would be anyway.