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Match Preview – West Brom vs Arsenal

McAuley Red Card

After the international break, the Premier League is back this weekend and West Brom host Arsenal on Saturday in a 3pm kick-off. With two losses in their last two games, West Brom will hope to contain the threat of high-flying Arsenal, who are sitting in second place in the league, only thanks to goal difference.

Arsenal return from the international break with Hector Bellerin coming back from a groin injury as he is deemed match fit for the weekend. It was claimed that Alexis Sanchez suffered from a calf injury whilst being away with the Chile squad, but he played 90 minutes for his country in a 3-0 defeat on Tuesday.

A similar line up to the one that faced Tottenham in the North London derby is expected, with the only change that Arsene Wenger will be likely to make is Bellerin replacing Mathieu Debuchy at right-back. Joel Campbell is anticipated to stay in the side due to the lack of other match fit options in the squad. Despite some players starting to return from injuries, they are still lacking full fitness, but could make substitute appearances.

West Brom are expected to start a similar team to the one that lost 2-0 at Old Trafford before the international break. The only change that we will probably see is Jonas Olsson replacing Gareth McAuley in the centre of defence. McAuley was given a straight red card after fouling Anthony Martial in the 90th minute, which led to Juan Mata’s goal from the spot.

McAuley Red Card

  Gareth McAuley sees red (Sky Sports)

Serge Gnabry will be unavailable for selection this weekend, as he is on loan at West Brom from Arsenal. Despite being part of the prestigious Germany Under-21 squad, the young winger has only made two league appearances for The Baggies. However, he will not be able to add to his tally this weekend against his parent club due to loan restrictions.

Player to watch

It will be interesting to see how Santi Cazorla returns to the side after a disappointing performance against Spurs. In the derby, he was substituted at half time, after being physically dominated in midfield and being unusually sloppy with his passing.

Last week against England, we saw him come off the bench in the first half for the injured Thiago, when he scored with an inch-perfect finish. Cazorla will hope that he will be back to his usual self against West Brom, with Ramsey returning from injury and putting pressure on him, as they fight for a place in the first team.

Cazorla scores for Spain

  Cazorla scores for Spain against England (Daily Mail)

Prediction: 3-0 to Arsenal

I think that Mesut Ozil will benefit after being rested during the international break and control the game. Germany manager, Joachim Low, left Ozil out of the international squad this time, which allowed to him experiment with new players. In past seasons, Ozil’s fatigue has shown, but this season he has been arguably one of the best players in the league and I think his form will continue at West Brom.

West Brom will most probably be defensively organised under Tony Pulis but in the form that Arsenal are currently in, it will be hard for the West Brom defence to keep them out for 90 minutes. I think Ozil will pull the strings and it will end with three points to The Gunners

Kick off 21/11 at 15:00 – Match odds with Betfect

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