Educated Guesswork: Arsenal to scrape victory against West Brom

Andi Foster looks at the West Brom v Arsenal game this weekend.

It's been a start to forget for many of the teams in the Premiership so far this season. Whilst there have been some success stories (Southampton, Chelsea and West Ham) a number of teams have faltered and have found themselves under growing amounts of pressure from their supporters and the media. And Arsenal are one of those teams.

What a difference a result makes. Despite being on top of Manchester United for the vast majority of the game last week, Arsenal still failed to get a result and the alarm bells have slowly started to go off around the Emirates.

Arsenal are in the middle of a run of games that should have seen up them propel up the table, but instead they have dropped points and find themselves in 8th place. The Borussia Dortmund result could well signal a change in fortune, but as Dortmund themselves will say - a good result in Europe does not necessarily mean that domestic form will follow. And with the media and shareholders on their back, and injuries taking their toll - how will Arsenal get on against West Brom at the Hawthornes on Saturday? What do the statistics suggest?

Something that will probably surprise most Arsenal fans is that defensively Arsenal are the 2nd best team away from home, conceding on average 1.17 goals per game and keeping a clean sheet in a 3rd of their games. However Arsenal lie 5th in attacking play with an average of 1.5 goals per game - and when you line those stats up you start to see where Arsenal's problems this season have stemmed from.

In the past you could expect Arsenal to comfortably outscore most opponents at home or away. But this season that has not been the case and Arsenal find themselves with a very slender goal supremacy rate away from the Emirates with 0.33. It goes without saying that unless that figure starts to quickly improve, Arsenal will not find themselves inside the top 3 any time soon (Chelsea's rating is 1.17). But what about West Brom?

The word to define WBA's defence at home this season would be fragile (bizarrely a stark contrast to their away defensive record) as they lie 18th when ranked against the other teams - conceding an average of 1.67 goals per game. However offensively they lie 7th, scoring an average of 1.67 goals per game leaving them with a total supremacy rate of 0 (every goal scored is at some point matched by a goal conceded).

West Brom find themselves without a win in their last 3 home games and they will be hoping that Berahino can fire them to victory against a faltering Arsenal team. However West Brom haven't beaten Arsenal at the Hawthornes since a 2-1 victory in 2005 and they will have to be at their best to beat an Arsenal side looking to kick-start their season (again). On this occasion though, I don't think they will pull it off.

West Brom 1 Arsenal 2

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