Arsenal v West Bromwich Albion – Match Preview
The season is about to start, hopes are high and anticipation is sky high. The hurt of last season’s collapse is still fresh in the minds of supporters. The summer transfers, both in and out, have not completely convinced the fans that the policy of bringing in younger players and allowing the experienced players to leave is the policy that will deliver the title. However, tomorrow will see the faithful pour into the Emirates, glued to the television screens and radios in hopeful anticipation of the start of a successful season.
The last two seasons have seen Arsenal start the campaign at home, on both occasions, we fell behind and spent the rest of the game trying to score a goal, and ensuring the opposition goalkeeper played the game of his life.
Tomorrow sees the visit of newly promoted West Bromwich Albion, the game will be no walk in the park, having studied past Arsenal performances Mowbray will pack his midfield and give instructions to his players to harass Arsenal, give them no time on the ball and to get physical. This is the way of the world against Arsenal, any other way and the opponents will be surrendering all three points.
The Arsenal line up will see two changes from the team that started against FC Twente, Kolo Toure will come in for Djourou, and Samir Nasri will make his debut on the wing in place of Eboue, who will partner Denilson in the midfield whilst Ramsey takes his place on the bench. With Fabregas, Diaby and Rosicky all out injured, Wenger cannot shuffle his midfield much.
The importance of playing Eboue in the midfield is that he will give us more grit in an area where the tackles will go flying in. Nasri and Walcott have major jobs to do, they will be the creative pairing on the wings, if they do not play well tomorrow, then it will be a long and hard game. Nasri will find this game a baptism of fire, but he must get into the groove straight away, we need to see his skills, pace and tricks tomorrow, we cannot wait 2-3 months.
and Clichy. We need Toure and Gallas to be solid as WBA will send plenty of aerial balls, thinking this is Arsenal’s weakness and Clichy must be alert at all times. A great player, but can fall asleep at vital moments. Clichy needs to be more incisive in his attack play tomorrow and it will be great to see the young Frenchman score his first goal for the club.
unscathed, which is a minor miracle. We know need to see Robin get back to his goal-scoring ways. His form is vital; he will link up with the midfield and play a Bergkamp style role for the team. Carlos Vela is likely to make his debut tomorrow coming off the bench.
In addition to Vela and Bendtner, Randall, Ramsey, Djourou, Gibbs, and Fabianski will be on the bench. If all goes to plan, Wenger will be able to give one of Randall, Ramsey, or Gibbs a taste of Premiership football.
If we play our passing game, create chances and good movement, then our strength and ability will be too much from the Baggies. We need to avoid the calamites of the last two starts, otherwise West Brom will “park the bus” in front of the goal. A good victory will be the ideal boost for fans and players, it will give us all the belief that we are capable of bringing hoem silverware this season.
Arsenal v WBA kick-off 12-45pm, LIVE on Sky Sports.