For the first time in a while I think I can predict what kind of Arsenal performance we are likely to witness this afternoon and that in itself has been our problem so far this season. The last two performances and the last result should give the team a bag full of confidence going into today's clash.
I am hoping we can show that confidence this afternoon at the Hawthorns.
There are two differences between our challenge today and our two previous that could affect how we play. Firstly I expect West Brom to sit back and allow us the ball in front of them. A key part of our game against Dortmund was the way we snapped into them in the midfield when they had possession, then we had space to attack them. This may prove difficult if we dominate possession for most of the game. Also we are playing away from the Emirates so it will be interesting to see if that affects our game.
We have another round of injuries to contend with once more and that is a real shame, a shame because we are starting to get some important players back but as is the way, it is a case of one out, one in. I say one, how about three?
Mikel Arteta, Jack Wilshere and Yaya Sanogo join Szczesny and Walcott on the sidelines. That is somewhat significant at this stage. We cannot afford to have another couple weeks like that. On the plus point I think Laurent Koscielny could come in today for the largely impressive displays of Nacho Monreal. Kos will need games before the busy period comes up and he has been in training for a few weeks now. For all the defensive panicking we are two weeks away from a first choice back four as well as all the back up players intact. But that is two weeks away and if this last week or so has taught us anything, it is that you can lose clusters of players faster than Sanogo can juggle the ball, back heal and score.
Mean Lean's Predicted Line Up:
The name of the game has got to be consistency. Consistency in our approach to defending, consistency in our attacking as well as individuals showing consistency. Santi Cazorla was fantastic on Wednesday so it would be great to see a repeat of that. Ramsey looked sharper and contributed defensively better than he has for weeks so I'd like to see him perform even better this afternoon.
Rumour has it that Danny Welbeck has been declared fit and could be in contention. I'm intrigued to know which way Arsène leans if both Giroud and Welbeck are fit?
I'd love another quick goalscoring start, we could get used to that.
Short one today as I've got a bit to do before 12.45pm.
Post Match Podcast, Q&A and Match Thoughts coming today and tomorrow.