Friday, January 22

Arsenal-West Brom Preview – Sports Illustrated


Mikel Arteta has made cutting the Arsenal team his priority for the January transfer window, admitting that the club “cannot sustain” the number of players currently on its books.

The Gunners added five new first-team players during the closed season, but they only made one sale, with reserve goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez heading to Aston Villa.

Several big names, such as Mesut Oil, Koran Mustard Socrates Papastathopoulos and Sead Kolasinac, have struggled for minutes this period or have frozen.

On Thursday, the latter secured a loan transfer to his old club, Schalke.

And while Arsenal remain linked to players like Disco and Joan Jordan, Arteta is keen to ditch more players before bringing in newer faces.

” We have a great team. We knew it and a lot of things that we wanted to do in the summer we couldn’t achieve for different reasons,” Arteta said.

” There are some players who are going to go on loan, they are going to leave, and that is the priority for the moment. We cannot maintain the numbers we have in terms of substitutions.

” We are looking to do that, and then we will see if we have the right opportunities in the positions for which we need more help. We are working with the club to find that.”

Arsenal face West Brom on Saturday, in their first game of 2021. The Baggies were beaten 5-0 by Leeds United in Sam Allardyce’s second home game in charge.

” For me it’s evaluating the squad and taking a team out against Arsenal to try to get a result,” Allardyce said. “It seems like it’s difficult for us to get a result here, but it’s okay to get a result in Manchester City and Liverpool, we have to change that.”

PLAYERS TO SEE

West Brom – Branislav Ivanovic

Veteran activist Ivanovic was hired as a backup to try to limit the damage against Leeds. Allerdale is likely to draw on his experience again, as the Baggies set out to claim another great result on the road.

Arsenal – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Aubameyang has been involved in 17 goals in 15 Premier Leagues games against promoted teams (13 goals, four assists). However, four of the five games in which he has failed to score against a promoted team have gone away from home.

OPTA KEY FACTS

• Arsenal have scored in all 24 Premier Leagues games with West Brom, the best 100% goal record for a team against an opponent in the competition’s history.

• The Gunners have won just one of their last six Premier Leagues road games against promoted teams (two draws and three losses), and that victory came at Fulham on the opening day of this season.

• Arsenal have lost their first league game in just two of the last 19 calendar years (11 wins, 6 draws), losing 0-2 at Southampton in 2015 and 1-2 at Fulham in 2012.

• West Brom have lost their last three Premier Leagues home games by an aggregate score of 1-13, conceding three or more goals in each loss. The Baggies have never lost four straight top flight games at home and have also sent in three or more goals in each loss.

• West Brom have won just eight points in the Premier Leagues so far this season; only in 1985-86 did he accumulate fewer points after 16 games of a season in the top flight.



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