Football

Arsenal v West Bromwich Albion: Match Preview

Van Persie will be looking to add to his scoring streak in 2011. (©GettyImages)
Van Persie will be looking to add to his scoring streak in 2011. (©GettyImages).

Arsenal v West Bromwich Albion
Barclays Premier League
Emirates Stadium
Saturday, 5th November; 15:00

Team News

Robin Van Persie and Laurent Koscielny, both rested for the Champions League game with Marseille, are in line for recalls.

Full-back Kieran Gibbs and striker Marouane Chamakh are out, while Manuel Almunia may resume duties on the bench after his loan spell with West Ham United.

Peter Odemwingie's troublesome knee problem could keep him out, with Paul Scharner's own knee injury, picked up against Liverpool, likely to keep him out.

 

Wenger won't accept complacency


Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is looking for his side to build upon their thrashing of Chelsea last weekend and continue their unbeaten run against West Bromwich Albion.

With eight wins from 10 games, The Gunners are the form team domestically, but expectations of the team have risen since the victory at Stamford Bridge.

But Wenger, who saw his side defeated by The Baggies in the same fixture last season, won't accept any slips up this time around.

"I believe that we are in a position where the last thing that should creep in is complacency," said Wenger.

"We have come so far from difficult times. I believe we have an intelligent group and so we need to realise that there is a lot more for us to achieve to come back into a stronger position.

"For us it is of course a vital game on Saturday. We are coming back into a better position in the league. We feel at home we are managing to win games and we want to continue to do that. What was important at Chelsea was that we won a big game, which is important for confidence.

"The Marseille game was a difficult one because we were on such a high after Saturday which made Tuesday night a bit more difficult. But having had a chance to watch it again we produced enough chances to win the game."

Wenger will be eager to call upon striker Robin Van Persie upon the visit of West Brom, with the Dutchman having struck 33 goals in all competitions in 2011, including a hat-trick against Chelsea last weekend, leaving many to label the 28-year-old as the best striker in the Premier League.

Albion's main man, Peter Odemwingie, has been unable to recapture the heights he hit last season as injury and loss of form has disrupted his season thus far.

The 30-year-old scored 15 goals in his first season in the Barclays Premier League, including in five of the club's last six games of last term.

The Nigerian is a doubt for the visit to The Emirates Stadium, but manager Roy Hodgson is demanding, if selected, that Odemwingie starts to show his best form.

"Peter knows he can do a lot better, we all do," said Hodgson. "He's had a bit of a stop-start season with one or two injuries he picked up.

"We haven't had that fortunate situation we had last season when for about 10 games in a row he was fully fit, playing and training at the level he wants to be at.

"But we know his qualities, what he can do, and we know what value he has to us.

"It is just a matter of time before we see that again but I'm sure he'd agree he's not playing to the level he was at the end of last season."

Topics:
Arsenal
West Bromwich Albion
Football
Premier League

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