After winning their opening three games of the season in all competitions, Albion have now gone four games without a victory following their home defeat to Manchester City in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday evening.
I wasn’t at the game on Wednesday, but judging by the highlights and other reports, Albion played much better in the second half and could’ve easily taken the game into extra time. That is, at least, a small positive after disappointing performances against Brighton and West Ham.
However, a trip to the Emirates is not the fixture that Tony Pulis may have chosen to try to turn results around. The Welshman has a good record at home to the Gunners, but his sides have lost every game at the Emirates in the Premier League. Albion have just the one win at Arsenal’s current home, a 3-2 win in 2010 – if you’re looking for omens, that match was also on 25th September, was the sixth Premier League game of the season and was played after a midweek League Cup tie at home to Manchester City….
With the Baggies on a run of four without a win, Arsène Wenger’s team are on a run of four without defeat. Having lost back-to-back Premier League games at Stoke and Liverpool, Arsenal beat Bournemouth 3-0 in their last home league game, and produced an impressive performance to hold Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last weekend while also notching up victories over FC Köln and Doncaster Rovers in the Europa League and Carabao Cup respectively.
Albion have lost all six visits to the Emirates Stadium since that standout win seven years ago, scoring just once in the process, and their only other Premier League point away to the Gunners came at Highbury in 2004 thanks to a late penalty from Robert Earnshaw.
Given Pulis’s record at the Emirates, he may consider a different approach on Monday, although somehow I doubt that he will change too much. Albion will look to keep it tight and catch the hosts on the break – it can work and has done for Pulis on many occasions, just not at Arsenal.
The Baggies’ highest profile signing of the summer has not really shone in his few games so far, but maybe Krychowiak will be motivated to shine in front of the TV cameras on Monday evening. It is certainly the type of game that a defensive midfielder can stand out and, other than the game at Chelsea last weekend, Arsenal have looked a little lightweight in central midfield and the Pole could have the opportunity to stamp his quality on the game.
Another signing, Kieran Gibbs, returns to the club at which he spent thirteen years of his career, which will certainly be an extra incentive. The last former Gunner to play for Albion at the Emirates was Jerome Thomas who scored in that win in 2010.
Having managed just four goals in their five games so far, they will need to be much more clinical if they are to get anything from Monday’s game. Albion will get chances, but not too many and those that do come along will need to be taken. Robson-Kanu’s miss on Wednesday is a case in point – it should have been taken and Albion might still be in the Carabao Cup if it had been.
Could this be the match that Pulis breaks his duck at the Emirates? I’m struggling to see it and see Arsenal taking all three points in a tight game.
All competitions; most recent game on the right
18 Mar 2017 – Premier League
West Brom 3 (Dawson (2), Robson-Kanu)
Arsenal 1 (Sánchez)
Last meeting at Arsenal
26 Dec 2016 – Premier League
Arsenal 1 (Giroud)
West Brom 0
Last win at Arsenal
25 Sep 2010 – Premier League
Arsenal 2 (Nasri (2))
West Brom 3 (Odemwingie, Jara, Thomas)
Albion’s Record against Arsenal
|Premier League Record|