Coming off a well-deserved draw at Stamford Bridge and a win in the midweek game against Doncaster, the Gunners yet again return to the Emirates for a clash which promises to surprise as well as entertain.
Previous encounters with Tony Pulis in the Premier League have always proved to be interesting. While we don’t struggle enough to call West Bromwich Albion our “bogey team”, we can’t afford to underestimate them. As a unit, West Brom are a formidable force; especially when it comes to their midfield and defence. Hegazi will be one of the defenders to look out for, he’s proved to be a decent acquisition for the Baggies. Having scored a goal on the opening day of the season, we will have to take extra caution at corners. Following on from this point, it is a well known fact that Arsenal struggle with even the easiest of set pieces; this needed to be rectified on Monday night. Following the draw at Stamford Bridge, I’m going to be the first to admit that our defence looks much more solid (Thank God). Mustafi seems more composed in the centre of that back three, a defensive sentinel being more fitting of a role than one who repeatedly sprays 50 yard balls that don’t reach their intended targets.
Another point. This would’ve been a perfect ‘welcome back’ game for Calum Chambers; but unfortunately an injury picked up on Wednesday has ruled that out. Off the ball against Doncaster, he seemed much more of a complete defender compared to the one we saw before his loan move to Middlesbrough.
Nevertheless, there are some key questions that need to be addressed:
Will Alexis Start?
Will Wilshere feature off the Bench?
And off the back of reports surfacing this week concerning an Özil move to Manchester United, will he be integrated into Monday’s squad?
Now, I’ll move onto what starting eleven I would choose to get us a vital win on Monday Night.
GK: Petr Cech – Our Number One (or 33), Cech’s experience will be essential in Monday’s fixture.
RCB: Laurent Koscielny – A reliable defensive Stalwart in the Arsenal side, he could have a torid time trying to keep the Arsenal Defence composed during set pieces.
CB: Shkodran Mustafi – In the Centre of the three, I believe Mustafi can pull off another scintillating performance, just like he did at Stamford Bridge last Sunday.
LCB: Nacho Monreal – Perhaps our most consistent player in the team, Monreal will have perhaps an easy game, with the likes of Jay Rodriguez being his competition.
RWB: Hector Bellerín – Bellerin’s form since he has been played in his correct position, has been encouraging. It is clear that Bellerin finds joy bombing down the right flank; hopefully he isn’t caught out by a loose ball while high up the pitch on Monday.
LWB: Sead Kolasinac – The Brick Sh*thouse himself, I predict the Bosnian will have a fantastic performance, may end the match with an assist.
CM: Aaron Ramsey – Ramsey had perhaps one of his best performances in an Arsenal Shirt last Sunday, and will look to lock down the defence with a mixture of tactical ingenuity and creativity at the Emirates.
CM: Granit Xhaka – Granit Xhaka compliments to Aaron Ramsey in the centre of the park like Romeo to Juliet. Xhaka’s distribution still needs to improve, but has looked a better player since THAT Liverpool game earlier on in the season.
LAM: Alexis Sánchez – With Danny injured, we can’t afford to NOT play Alexis; contract and transfer controversy aside, Sanchez is a must in this Arsenal side.
RAM: Alex Iwobi – I’m going to get a lot of flack for this, but I wouldn’t integrate Özil back into the team yet. Iwobi has the potential to unlock West Brom’s defence.
ST: Alexandre Lacazette – Why wouldn’t you play him?
So only one change from the game at Chelsea, but I believe its the right one. While West Brom are far from being a pushover, this should a comfortable home win for Arsenal.
Prediction: 3-1 Arsenal
Goalscorers: Lacazette (2), Ramsey.
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Thanks for reading Guys