Arsenal are back in Premier League action tonight, and with their rivals all picking up maximum points at the weekend, the Gunners can afford no less than 3 points as they host West Brom.
In truth, Arsenal could do with more than a win, the Gunners look some way behind some of their title rivals and after already suffering two defeats, Arsene Wenger’s men would benefit from putting in a convincing performance and getting a result to match. But after this troubling start to the season, you get the sense that Arsenal would take 3 points no matter how it comes. Below I take a look at the likely XI to start tonight.
Goalkeeper: Petr Cech
Defence: Laurent Koscielny, Shkodran Mustafi, Nacho Monreal
With Mustafi at the heart of the Arsenal defence, the Gunners have looked much more solid defensively with back to back clean sheets in the Premier League following on from that embarrassing 4-0 defeat to Liverpool.
Wing-backs: Hector Bellerin and Sead Kolasinac
Ox’s departure has allowed for Bellerin and Kolasinac to play in their actual positions and the Gunners look a much better side for it. It’s puzzling that Ox was ever selected at left wing-back, with Kolasinac clearly such a quality player in that position.
Central Midfield: Aaron Ramsey, Granit Xhaka
This duo are getting better together and against Chelsea we saw them much more disciplined and hence the Gunners managed to keep an impressive clean sheet at The Bridge.
Attack: Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez; Alexandre Lacazette
It looks as if we might finally see the front three of Alexis, Ozil and Lacazette. Ozil is likely to come back into the team following an injury problem, whilst the injury to Danny Welbeck may see Alexis reinstated in the Arsenal attack. Ozil and Alexis are both lacking match sharpness, but they’ll only pick that up by playing and a home game against West Brom provides a good platform for the duo to kick back into form. With the deadly Lacazette ahead of them, Arsenal should be confident of scoring goals against any team with a front three like this. The Frenchman has two goals this season, but with Lukaku and Morata both firing a huge amount for Chelsea and Manchester United, Lacazette will know he needs to score most games in order to compete with the other top strikers in the league.
Arsenal have no excuses here, it is arguably their best XI available and they need to show how strong they really are. Anything less than 3 points would certainly be viewed as a mini-disaster.