Arsenal v West Brom: Premier League match preview

A look ahead to this weekend's Premier League fixture at the Emirates Stadium

Arsenal could have a place in the Champions League for a 17th straight season wrapped up for them by the time this game kicks off on Sunday. If Everton lose to Manchester City in Saturday’s late kick-off, the Emirates Stadium will be in a celebratory mood.

A relaxed atmosphere may help the Baggies, who will be conscious that despite a vital win over West Ham - which took them four points clear of the relegation zone - they aren’t out of danger yet. A first win at The Hawthorns eased the pressure on manager Pepe Mel, whose underwhelming record of 15 points from 15 league games is still encouraging speculation about his future. More than half of those have been gained in the last five matches, suggesting that Mel is getting through to his squad.

However, this is not the ideal fixture for the Baggies to continue their resurgence. Arsenal are back on song, having scored three goals in each of their last three games. It seems that their FA Cup semi-final triumph against Wigan was the perfect tonic after a four-match winless streak. Lukas Podolski has enjoyed his team’s purple patch, doubling his league tally to eight as he and the Gunners have hit form at just the right time.

KICK-OFF: Saturday, 3pm

PAST THREE MEETINGS…

West Brom 1 (Yacob) Arsenal 1 (Wilshere), Premier League, October 2013

West Brom 1 (Berahino) Arsenal 1 (Eisfeld), 3-4 on penalties, League Cup, September 2013

West Brom 1 (Morrison) Arsenal 2 (Rosicky 2), Premier League, April 2013

STATS…

If Arsenal seal Champions League qualification on Sunday, it will be the second time in three seasons they’ve done so against West Brom.

Arsenal haven’t lost at home in the league since their opening day 3-1 defeat to Aston Villa.

West Brom have beat Arsenal on their own patch once in the last 30 years, a 3-2 win at The Emirates in 2012.

The Baggies are draw specialists, picking up 43 per cent of their points via their league-high 15 draws.

ODDS…

Arsenal to win: 1.25

West Brom to win: 12.0

Draw: 5.5

CLASSIC MATCH

Arsenal went to The Hawthorns on the last day of the 2011/12 season knowing that only a win would be enough to guarantee a Champions League place. With fourth-placed Spurs winning at home to Fulham, the Gunners took the lead but fell behind to quick-fire strikes from Shane Long and Graham Dorrans. It took a hapless display from keeper Martin Fulop to let Arsenal back into the game. The debut stopper conceded a soft long-range effort by Andre Santos before flapping at a corner to gift Laurent Koscielny the winner. Fulop’s first performance for the Baggies also turned out to be his last.

TV: Live on Sky Sports 1 at 1.30pm, highlights on BBC1 at 10.30pm on Monday

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot