English Premier League. Week 18
December 26, 15:00 UTC
Venue: Emirates Stadium, London, England
Referee: Neil Swarbrick
As Boxing Day is approaching, it is time to leave the Christmas table for a while and turn on the TV… or maybe you can watch the game without leaving your beloved food. Anyway, it’s TIME FOR FOOTBALL, and Arsenal alongside with West Bromwich are preparing for an awesome clash as a Christmas present for the football fans… do they?
Arsenal are not having the best part of the season, for sure. After an awesome start and stable flow, Arsenal experiences a downturn. Last two matches have been lost, as Arsene Wenger’s team lost two of their last Premier League games. It all started with Everton’s unexpected comeback (2-1) and then was accompanied by a defeat from Manchester City (2-1). Both of these games, however, were away clashes for Arsenal. London side counts for one loss only in eight home games, having won their last seven EPL clashes.
West Bromwish Albion, on the other hand, are not having their best season either, still not the worst. They have lost two of their last five games with another draw. The two losses, however, are from teams like Chelsea (1-0) and Manchester United (0-2). They are sharing the fifth and sixth positions in the league table, which for a team of their class does not seem to be too bad.
The head-to-head statistics for these teams clearly show Arsenal’s excellence over West Bromwich. More than half of the games throughout the history of this rivalry are Arsenal wins, while West Brom won around 26 percent of the clashes. However, the historic numbers are not a good indicator for the prediction of the result of today’s clash. The recent numbers show the same pattern. Arsenal lost only once in their last 12 head-to-head clashes, lost 8 and drew 3 games.
Home statistics for Arsenal are even better. Five last games have been won at home and in four of them, they managed to keep a clean sheet. Last time West Bromwich won at the Emirates stadium was in 2010.
When we take a look at the head-to-head statistics it seems that West Bromwich have no chance. However, the huge list of injured Arsenal players reduce Wenger team’s chances of beating up their today’s opponent. The manager will lack key players in defense and midfield. Chuba Akpom, Santi Cazorla, Mathieu Debuchy, Yaya Sanogo, Shkodran Mustafi, Per Mertesacker and Alex Oxlade Chamberlain will definitely miss the Boxing Day clash. Aaron Ramsey and attacking force Danny Welbeck are both fit but are not expected to be in the starting lineup for the Monday match.
West Bromwich Albion, on the other hand, will lack injured second goalkeeper Boaz Myhill and unfit attacker Saido Berahino. Midfielder James Morrison and defender Jonny Evans are doubtful for the clash.
Arsenal (4-2-3-1) vs West Bromwich Albion (4-2-3-1)