Sam Allardyce will continue his search for a first win as Albion manager with the visit of 13th placed Arsenal on Saturday night.
Allardyce will be looking for a response after his side were thrashed 5-0 by Leeds United last time out with the Baggies looking tired in both a mental and physical aspect.
Arsenal will arrive at The Hawthorns in a disappointing mid-table position with many of their key players having underperformed this season, although, Mikel Arteta will be hoping to put a run of form together following consecutive victories.
Team News and Predicted XI
Allardyce will need to make changes to a team that was outplayed by Leeds in every element of the game; however, his squad does lack significant depth.
There would be an argument for every player to be dropped, based on the performance against The Whites although certain players may stand a bigger chance of being replaced.
Romaine Sawyers came under immense criticism following his bizarre own goal, but he could only be realistically replaced by Filip Krovinović who doesn’t appear to fit into the mould of an Allardyce player.
Karlan Grant’s performances have left a lot to be desired throughout his time at Albion so far, so this could see Callum Robinson or Charlie Austin lead the line against the Gunners.
Albion’s most gifted footballer, Matheus Pereira, would also bring quality to the team if he was handed his first start under Allardyce and he could replace Grady Diangana who appears to be low on confidence.
Kieran Gibbs is also a doubt and this could see Lee Peltier keep his place in the side, whilst Jake Livermore is suspended.
Albion’s Predicted XI (4-2-3-1):
Mikel Arteta will be looking to make as few changes as possible to a side which has recorded back-to-back victories in the Premier League.
He faces a dilemma of who to play upfront with Alexandre Lacazette having come off the bench to score the winner against Brighton, although, captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang provides stiff competition.
Central defender Gabriel will miss the clash following a positive COVID-19 test, as will Thomas Partey who has picked up a thigh injury.
Youngster Bukayo Saka has been the Gunners’ star man this season, and despite limping off at The Amex he is expected to be available for the match against The Baggies.
David Luiz and Willian could both return from illness, though it is likely Arteta will opt to remain with the same defence which has conceded only one goal in the last two games, whilst Emile Smith Rowe and Gabriel Martinelli have impressed in Willian’s absence.
Arsenal’s Predicted XI (4-2-3-1):
The Game Plan
It is likely that Albion will aim to emulate their impressive performance in the 1-1 draw against Liverpool which would see The Baggies sit back and look to hit the Gunners on the counter-attack.
Although this presents a risk with the quality that Arsenal have in attacking areas which was shown by their 3-1 win against Chelsea.
Arteta also has a strong bench to turn to later on in the game which could see his side exploit Allardyce’s men as they tire.
Though it has regularly been seen this season that Arsenal are beatable and currently do not possess the quality that we have seen from them throughout the Premier League era.
Set-pieces are likely to be Albion’s greatest weapon with Pereira often providing quality from dead-ball situations when selected, and Semi Ajayi providing an aerial threat in the penalty area.
Albion can look to Burnley’s 1-0 win at The Emirates Stadium as a template they could follow with the Clarets soaking up much of the play and scoring from a corner later on in the game.
The pressure is on Arsenal and they will be expected to win which could potentially work in Albion’s favor, although it is likely the Gunners will offer too much quality for Albion.
Match Prediction: West Brom 0-2 Arsenal