Arsenal v West Bromwich Albion - Match Preview, Stats & Team News

To be played on Sunday 4th May 2014 at 13:30. Venue: Emirates Stadium, London.

Odds: Arsenal 3/10, Draw 5/1, West Bromwich Albion 11/1

Last season: 2-0

Preview & injury news

Arsenal are on the brink of qualifying for next season's Champions League as they currently sit four points ahead of Everton with two games remaining, meaning a win here would make sure of their place in Europe's elite competition for next season regardless of what goes on elsewhere. After a wobble which threatened their place in next season's competition, they have won each of their last three games and go into this game in pretty good shape.

Their opponents West Bromwich Albion go are still looking over their shoulders, but will have confidencea after a massive win last weekend against West Ham United which lifted them four points clear of the drop zone, having played a game less than most of their relegation rivals. Pepe Mel's side have only lost one of their last five league matches (away to Manchester City) so the Baggies will be no pushovers for Arsene Wenger's side. 

Arsenal still have quite a list of injury worries despite some key players returning to action in recent weeks. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has a groin problem but it's said there is a chance he could be available for this weekend's game, and the same goes for left-back Kieran Gibbs who has an ankle problem. Jack Wilshere is continuing his recovery from a broken foot whilst Abou Diaby has suffered a setback in his recover from long term knee injury by picking up a groin problem. Theo Walcott is still sidelined with a long term knee injury of his own whilst it appears that Serge Gnabry still has a problem with his knee.

For West Brom, Zoltan Gera will miss out with a hamstring injury, whilst Steven Reid has a thigh problem. There is a chance that Gareth McAuley could be in the squad for the trip to North London after a calf injury, whilst it may be too soon for Liam Ridgewell to be considered as he recovers from a knee ligament injury.

Key stats

Here are the top scorers from the two teams in the Premier League this season:

Olivier Giroud Arsenal FW 15 34 2,917
Aaron Ramsey Arsenal MF 9 22 1,701
Lukas Podolski Arsenal FW 8 18 992
Saido Berahino West Brom FW 5 29 1,147
Morgan Amalfitano West Brom MF 4 26 2,008
Stéphane Sessegnon West Brom MF 4 23 1,691

Their average possession statistics:

  Possession PercentagePlayed
Arsenal 56.14 36
West Bromwich Albion 45.91 35

And the amount of clean sheets they've kept:

  Clean SheetPlayed
Arsenal 15 36
West Bromwich Albion 7 35

5 players to watch

Olivier Giroud - Giroud is always an interesting player to watch. Sometimes he can come up with something out of the top drawer and on other occasions he can look a little lost and do something pretty poor. Inevitably he will be leading the line from the start this weekend, and seems to be in decent form in front of goal lately, so will he add to his goal tally for this season?

Morgan Amalfitano - In West Brom's big games this season, Amalfitano has had the habit of coming up with a telling contribution, whether it's a goal, assist, or an all-round display. Every game is big as West Brom try to avoid the drop, and against a very good side, Amalfitano may relish the challenge.

Mesut Ozil - Ozil looks refreshed after he returned from injury, with many suggesting prior to his spell on the sidelines that he could have done with a winter break. Since his return he has looked pretty lively, with a bit more energy about him and is dangerous if given time and space on the ball.

Saido Berahino - Berahino has come up with a couple of important goals for West Brom this season, like last weekend against West Ham United to give them a crucial three points. The Baggies top scorer may have been involved in other incidents this season, but they would like to see another big goal from him this weekend.

Aaron Ramsey - It's hard to think what could have been if Ramsey hadn't been injured during such a crucial time of the season. He was in great form before he was sidelined, and he's been terrific on his return. He can be a joy to watch at times. 

Earlier on in the season

West Bromwich Albion 1-1 Arsenal, October 2013

It was a tough game for Arsenal as they leapfrogged Liverpool on goals scored at the top of the Premier League. Steve Clarke's West Brom side took the lead just before half time after a Morgan Amalfitano cross was headed home by Claudio Yacob, as both sides had their opportunities. The Gunners equalised just after the hour mark where Jack Wilshere drilled a shot from the edge of the area after being teed up by Olivier Giroud with the shot taking a deflection on the way through. A fine save from West Brom keeper Boaz Myhill towards the end denied Giroud from taking all three points for the visitors.

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