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Arsenal v West Brom - Match preview and team news


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By Adam Mazrani

Friday 07 December 2012

Arsenal face a tricky clash at home to West Brom as they look to gather momentum after making their worst start to a Premier League season since the 1994/95 season.


Emirates Stadium


The Gunners currently sit 10th in the table after their 2-0 defeat at home to Swansea last week and have only won two out of their last eight league matches. Indeed, the arrival of West Brom to the Emirates even brings fears for embattled manager Arsene Wenger, who has seen his side struggle for form in front of their own fans this season, with only three wins to date.


The Gunners will be without Theo Walcott and Lukas Podolski from the clash with the Baggies with calf and hamstring injuries respectively, while French full-back Bacary Sagna is doubtful with an ankle injury. Elsewhere, Laurent Koscielny and Andre Santos remain sidelined, joining long-term absentees Lukasz Fabianski and Abou Diaby. The likes of Olivier Giroud, Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta and Jack Wilshere are all set to return to the Gunners’ starting line-up after being rested for the midweek defeat against Olympiakos in their final Champions League group match.


West Brom are eyeing a positive result after seeing their unexpected good run of form tempered by two consecutive defeats away at Swansea and then more disappointingly, at home to Stoke. Head Coach Steve Clarke will be keen to ensure his side’s early good form is no mere flash in the pan and considering Arsenal’s struggles of late, will be more than confident of going to the Emirates and getting at least a point, particularly with the attacking pace and power of Shane Long, Romelu Lukaku and Peter Odemwingie.


On the injury front, Clarke hopes to have Ben Foster available again but the former England goalkeeper remains a doubt with a groin injury, while Billy Jones is doubtful after picking up an illness.




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