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May 9, 2021 at 7pm UK
ArsenalArsenal
3-1
West BromWest Bromwich Albion
Smith Rowe (29'), Pepe (35'), Willian (90')
Ceballos (70')
FT(HT: 2-0)
Pereira (67')
Robson-Kanu (62'), Gallagher (76')

Preview: Arsenal vs. West Bromwich Albion - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Arsenal vs. West Bromwich Albion - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's Premier League clash between Arsenal and West Bromwich Albion, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Arsenal will be looking to put their Europa League semi-final heartache behind them when they host relegation-threatened West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League on Sunday evening.

The Gunners have lost seven home games in the top-flight this campaign, four more than last season, and are also winless in their last six at the Emirates Stadium in all competitions.

Meanwhile, the Baggies have claimed just two wins on the road this term, although one of these was an impressive 5-2 victory away at Chelsea in April.


Match preview

Arsenal's dream of reaching the Europa League final for the second time in three years is now over after they played out a goalless draw at home to Villarreal on Thursday evening, with the Spanish outfit progressing 2-1 on aggregate.

The Gunners, who only had two shots on target throughout the 90 minutes, needed just one goal to book their place in Gdansk, but they failed to overturn the deficit and Unai Emery was able to get one over his former club, reaching the final for the fifth time in his managerial career.

Head coach Mikel Arteta insists that he is the right man to take the club forward, but the pressure is now mounting on the Spaniard who has failed to build on last season's FA Cup triumph.

Europa League success for Arsenal would have seen them qualify for next season's Champions League, but they are now at risk of facing their first campaign without European football in 25 years.

The Gunners return to Premier League action this weekend, where they currently sit ninth in the table, seven points behind rivals Tottenham Hotspur in sixth, who currently occupy the final Europa League qualification spot.

However, if Arsenal were to finish the campaign in seventh, they would qualify for the inaugural Europa Conference League. Achieving this may still be a tall order as they are five points behind seventh-placed Liverpool who also have a game in hand.

Arsenal have an impressive record at the Emirates against West Brom, winning 10 of their 12 home matches in the top-flight. They have also scored in all 25 Premier League meetings against the Baggies – the best scoring record that one side has against another in the division.

Arteta's men must win on Sunday if they are to keep their slim hopes of European qualification alive, but a surprise defeat would put the Gunners at risk of finishing this campaign in the bottom half of the table for the first time since 1994-95.

After failing to win any of their last three league matches, West Bromwich Albion must also win this weekend if they are avoid an immediate return to the Championship.

The Baggies could only draw 1-1 at home against Midlands rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday, despite Mbaye Diagne scoring a second-half equaliser, his third Premier League goal since joining the club on loan in January.

Sam Allardyce, who took charge of the club in December, has never been relegated from the Premier League as a manager, and although they have lost just three of their last 10 matches, West Brom are 11 points adrift from safety, with an 11th top-flight relegation seemingly on the horizon; only Birmingham City (12) have suffered more demotions to the second tier.

The Baggies will hope to avoid a repeat of their last meeting with Arsenal, which saw the north London club cruise to a 4-0 victory at the Hawthorns in January.

Indeed, West Brom have a poor record against the Gunners, losing more top-flight matches against them (65) than any other opponent in their history. They also travel to the Emirates having lost each of their last seven away games against them by an aggregate score of 15-1.

Furthermore, Allardyce has lost 17 Premier League games against Arsenal as a manager, only losing more times in the top-flight to Manchester City (18).

Defeat for the Baggies on Sunday would confirm their relegation from the Premier League, but a victory would see them live to fight another day and could move them up to 18th place, seven points behind Burnley, who face Fulham on Monday night.

Arsenal Premier League form:
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • W

Arsenal form (all competitions):
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • D

West Bromwich Albion Premier League form:
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • D


Team News

Arsenal defender David Luiz is doubtful for this weekend's game with a hamstring problem, while midfielder Granit Xhaka picked up a muscle injury in the warm-up on Thursday and may also not feature against the Baggies.

Midfielder Dani Ceballos was suspended for the Europa League second leg but is now back in contention to play on Sunday.

Left-back Kieran Tierney and striker Alexandre Lacazette were both doubts for the midweek fixture, but having featured against Villarreal, the pair are in contention to start.

Rob Holding is set to keep his place in the side at centre-back and could be joined by Gabriel Magalhaes or Pablo Mari, while Calum Chambers may start ahead of Hector Bellerin at right-back.

Bukayo Saka and Nicolas Pepe are likely to operate on the flanks, while one of Emile Smith Rowe or Martin Odegaard is expected to start in the number 10 role behind Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

As for West Bromwich Albion, they are without Robert Snodgrass who is recovering from a series of long-standing niggles, while Branislav Ivanovic is ruled out for the rest of the season with a hamstring injury.

Allardyce is not expected to make too many changes to his starting lineup and could use the same back-five that started against Wolves on Monday.

This would see defenders Semi Ajayi, Kyle Bartley and Dara O'Shea start in the heart of the defence, with Darnell Furlong and Conor Townsend operating as wing-backs.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles is ineligible to face his parent club, so Okay Yokuslu could be joined in central midfield by Chelsea loanee Conor Gallagher, while Matheus Pereira is set to start once again in an attacking midfield role in behind striker Diagne.

Arsenal possible starting lineup:
Leno; Chambers, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney; Partey, Elneny; Saka, Smith Rowe, Pepe; Aubameyang

West Bromwich Albion possible starting lineup:
Johnstone; Ajayi, Bartley, O'Shea; Furlong, Gallagher, Yokuslu, Townsend; Pereira, Robinson; Diagne


We say: Arsenal 2-1 West Bromwich Albion

Arteta will look to galvanise his troops and bounce back from their Europa League exit with a victory on Sunday to keep Arsenal's slim hopes of European qualification alive.

West Brom will be forced to push forward as they look to delay their impending relegation from the top-flight with a win, but we feel that could expose the Baggies defensively, allowing the Gunners to break them down and secure all three points at the Emirates.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data


Video prediction

Watch the Sports Mole Football Shorts prediction for this game below:


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