West Brom’s relegation will be confirmed if they lose to Arsenal on Sunday, and while the Gunners still stand an outside chance of finishing in the top seven, it remains to be seen how they react to failing in their biggest game of the season midweek.
Premier League 2020/2021 campaign
Kick-off: 19:00 pm
Venue: Emirates Stadium
Arsenal are now facing up to the risk of a first campaign without European football in 25 years after failing in their bid to win the Europa League, and are at least nine points adrift of fifth place with just four games left for the season.
They did win 4-0 in this game’s reverse fixture at the Hawthorns, but since then had picked up just three league home wins while also winless in their last six at the Emirates in all competitions.
Arsenal have an impressive record at home against West Brom, having won 10 of their last 12 home matches in the Premier League. They have also scored in all 25 top-flight games against the Baggies, which is the best scoring record that one side has against another in the division.
An immediate return to the Championship beckons for Sam Allardyce charges, and win on Sunday they must to delay that.
However, they had failed to win any of their last three and could only draw 1-1 with Black Country rivals Wolves last time out.
With Big Sam’s record of never been relegated from the Premier League as a manager on the line, it is looking very unlikely the club he took over last December can pull off the great escape this time.
Granit Xhaka picked up an injury in warm-up leading up to the Villareal game, and will likely play no part here.
David Luiz is still out.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles is not eligible to face his parent club.
Bransilav Ivanovic and Robert Snodgrass are injury doubts for the visitors.
Arsenal’s last five PL games: LWDLW
West Brom’s last five PL games: WWLDD
Sam Allardyce has lost 17 Premier League games versus Arsenal as a manager. Only against Manchester City (18) has he managed more losses.
Arsenal are still searching for a first successive wins in a 14 Premier League games.
West Brom could go gung-ho here with their top-flight survival at stake, but that only exposes their very brittle defence which has conceded a league-high 65 goals.
The visitors need to score if they must stay up, but Arsenal are also in need of the points. We like to think the Gunners will find them, even though it eventually amounts to nothing in the long run, so a home win at odds of 9/20 is our pick for this game.
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