Arsene Wenger
Arsenal host West Brom on Saturday, looking for a first league win since the 5-2 defeat of Tottenham in the north London derby

Arsenal host West Brom on Saturday, looking for a first league win since the 5-2 defeat of Tottenham in the north London derby. Since then, the Gunners have drawn two and lost one. In fact, Arsene Wenger's side have won only once in the last five games - a 2-0 home win over French champions Montpellier, in a Champions League group stage game. The Baggies, meanwhile, are flying high with ex-Chelsea assistant Steve Clarke at the helm but come into this game on the back of consecutive defeats.

Where to Watch Live

Kick-off is set for 3 pm GMT and live commentary is available, for registered members, on Arsenal Player. Catch highlights on Match of the Day on BBC One and BBC One HD, at 10.30 pm GMT.


Arsenal come into this game on the back of a 2-1 away defeat to Greek side Olympiakos, in the final round of group stage matches in the Champions League. The match was largely irrelevant for the north London club because they'd already qualified with the win over Montpellier but the defeat added to a cloud of gloom at the Emirates.

The loss in the last league game, at home, to Swansea City, led to renewed calls from supporters for a radical revamping of the club, for it meant a worst ever start to the Premier League and although Wenger has dismissed the criticism, the pressure on the Frenchman is unmistakable.

The club has won only five of 15 league games so far this season and only Wigan, Southampton, Reading and QPR have conceded more goals at home. And the Gunners have also failed to win consecutive matches since late-October.

West Brom were beaten, at home, by Stoke City last weekend. And the Baggies went down 3-1 at the Liberty Stadium in the match before that, taking some of the sheen off their excellent start to the season. However, those two losses, aside, Clarke's side remains in the hunt for European football next season and can take comfort in the fact that even if they were to lose to Arsenal, the Gunners will remain behind them in the table. The prize on offer, for a win, is a return to Champions League places, providing results elsewhere go their way.

The visitors will be full of confidence coming into this game, for before the two defeats they were on a run of four wins, including a 2-1 defeat of Chelsea (at The Hawthorns).

Team Form


  • Last Five (all competitions, most recent first): L L D D W
  • Last Match: Olympiakos 2 - 1 Arsenal

West Bromwich Albion

  • Last Five (all competitions, most recent first): L L W W W
  • Last Match: West Brom 0 - 1 Stoke City

Team News

Wenger has confirmed the side will be without forwards Theo Walcott and Lukas Podolski for this game, while right back Bacary Sagna, left back Andre Santos and central defender Laurent Koscielny are all unavailable. The trio joins French midfielder Abou Diaby on the injury list.

Expect youngster Carl Jenkinson to line up on the right of defence, with Thomas Vermalen and Per Mertesacker occupying the central slots and England international Kieran Gibbs on the left. Polish No 1 Wojciech Szczesny will, of course, be in goal.

In midfield, Czech playmaker Tomas Rosicky announced his return from injury with the Gunners' consolation goal in the midweek defeat. Expect the veteran to start Mikel Arteta and Jack Wilshere in midfield.

Spaniard Santi Cazorla, the creative hub of the side, is likely to be pushed into an advanced role, given the absence of Podolski and Walcott. French international Olivier Giroud will play the central striker, with young Englishman Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain out on the other flank.

Probable Line-Up: Szczesny; Jenkinson, Vermaelen, Mertesacker, Gibbs; Arteta, Wilshere, Rosicky; Cazorla, Giroud, Oxlade-Chamberlain

West Brom has nearly a full squad at his disposal. Goal keeper Ben Foster is the only player expected to miss this game, after groin surgeries. The Hawthorns' side will welcome Billy Jones and Boas Myhill to the first team, after recovering from unspecified illnesses.

Probable Line-Up: Myhill; Reid, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell; Yacob, Mulumbu; Odemwingie, Morrison, Gera; Long