West Brom v Arsenal Premier League Preview 31/12/2017
Arsenal drew level on points with North London rivals Tottenham when beating Crystal Palace 3-2 on Thursday evening.
The Gunners now travel to the Midlands to face struggling West Brom. Only goal difference separates Spurs and Arsenal in fifth and sixth place respectively. Arsene Wenger’s mandate for this season must surely be to guide them back into the Champions League. It clearly dented his pride with the club failing to qualify for Europe’s top club competition for the first time in his 21-year reign.
Arsenal suffered a damaging 3-1 home defeat by Manchester United at the start of December. Some pundits prematurely wrote them off for a top four finish but they have bounced back strongly. The Gunners are unbeaten in their last seven matches. That includes sharing the points with Liverpool in a remarkable six-goal thriller at the Emirates before Christmas.
They were 2-0 down before a stunning five-minute spell saw them take a 3-2 lead. They could not hold on for the win but showed plenty of spirit. Both they and Liverpool have suffered from a leaky defence this season. The Reds have taken steps to solve the problem by splashing out £75million on Virgil Van Dijk from Southampton. It remains to be seen whether or not Wenger will take similar action during the January transfer window.
The Baggies are in deep trouble just one from bottom of the EPL table. Alan Pardew was brought in to rescue Albion from relegation. He has managed to tighten them up defensively but they are sadly lacking in fire power. West Brom will surely be busy in the transfer window if they are to have any hope of survival.
They put up a good battling display to hold Liverpool to a goalless draw at Anfield in December. They were then beaten 2-1 at home by Manchester United and 3-1 at Stoke City. Albion stopped the rot with a 0-0 draw against Everton in one of the dullest games of the season on Boxing Day.
Pardew will be desperate to bring in a striker next month. Only two goals have been scored in their last six matches and they lost both games. They were beaten 2-0 at Arsenal in September and a similar score-line looks highly likely. Alexis Sanchez looked to be returning to his best at Palace and could be among the goals again on Sunday.
Premier League Betting Tips 31/12/2017
Arsenal to beat West Brom @1.83 Ladbrokes
Alexis Sanchez to score and Arsenal win @3.0 Ladbrokes