WEST BROMWICH ALBION
24th May, 2015; 15-00 GMT
Emirates Stadium, London
Arsenal play hosts to West Bromwich Albion at the Emirates Stadium in the final game of the English Premier League season.
Arsenala s end of season form has not been the best, with a defeat and two draws putting paid to their hopes of finishing second, and conceding the position to Manchester City. With third place practically theirs, unless Manchester United manage to put a major dent to the goal difference disparity, there wona t be much to look forward to in this game for Arsenal, and manager Arsene Wenger may even put out a second string team to ensure there are no injuries or scope for fatigue to affect the players ahead of the FA Cup final.
West Bromwich Albion will be on a high after beating Chelsea 3-0 over the weekend and will be hoping to do the same to Arsenal as well to finish their season on a high. West Brom are currently 13th in the table, and the chances of them finishing in the top 10 are very long. However, finishing as high as possible would be one of the aims of manager Tony Pulis, who has a special liking to frustrating Arsenal, especially when he was managing Stoke City. But it will very difficult to get the job done at the Emirates, where the gunners are nearly unstoppable.
Team News and Tactics
With an FA Cup final on the horizon, Arsene Wenger is likely to go with a second string side so that he can ensure there are no possible injuries in a game against a Tony Pulis side. Coquelin would likely be rested as he has been playing every since he returned to the side at end of last year. Ramsey and Cazorla might play in the center with Walcott on the right. There is a case for Jack Wilshere to be started instead of Cazorla but Wenger may not want to make too many changes.
Koscielny could be rested for Gabriel while the full backs could be Gibbs and Chambers, giving regulars Monreal and Bellerin some much needed rest.
Expected Line up: Ospina; Gibbs, Mertesacker, Gabriel, Chambers; Cazorla, Ramsey; Sanchez, Ozil, Walcott; Giroud.
West Bromwich Albion
For West Brom, Ben Foster is the only player out and the rest of the squad is available for selection. Pulis will likely go with a 4-3-3 formation with Berahino leading the line with Brunt and McManaman. Lescott and Dawson will likely start as full backs with Olsson and McAuley being the centre backs. Myhill should don the gloves. All in all, it would possibly be the same team that beat Chelsea on Monday.
Expected Line up: Myhill; Lescott, Olsson, McAuley, Dawson; Morrison, Yacob, Fletcher; Brunt, Berahino, McManaman.
- In their last 36 home games, Arsenal have remained unbeaten in 34 matches.
- Arsenal have won 6 of their last 7 home games against West Brom, keeping 5 clean sheets out of the last 6 games.
- Arsenal have not been able to score in their last 3 home games.
Arsenal will want to finish the season with a win but West Brom will not be any pushovers. But with both teams having one eye on the season ending break, this could peter out to a dull draw.
Predicted Score: Arsenal 1-1 West Bromwich Albion