West Bromwich Albion vs Arsenal
West Bromwich Albion vs Arsenal

West Brom are sitting safely on the10<sup>th spot and do not really have anything much to play for, except of course, an apt farewell to their departing boss Roy Hodgson, who will take over the England national team managerial post after this match.

On the other side, Arsenal face a "cup final" situation in Sunday's trip to the Hawthorns. The result will not only affect the monetary affairs, but also the contract situations of some of the club's key players. Strikers Robin van Persie and Theo Walcott are both into the last year of their current deals and the duo - along with potential new signings - will have second thoughts if the Gunners fail to grab that Champions League spot.

The Baggies will be aware that they can play spoilsport to Arsenal's party on Sunday. Forward Shane Long has stated that the team owes a good parting gift to Hodgson. Interestingly, the West Brom manager is not the only one who is bidding farewell after the match. This will also be the last game for Arsenal assistant coach Pat Rice, who is stepping down after an accumulative 44 years with the north London outfit, since joining the club's academy back in 1964. And the Gunners would surely want to see Rice leaving on a high.

The match will be available live on FOXSoccer.tv in the US.

Team News: West Brom captain Chris Brunt has been ruled out after having his tonsils removed, while fellow midfielder Jerome Thomas is a doubt due to illness. Striker Peter Odemwingie is also battling to be fit after missing the Bolton game with a leg injury and midfielders Steven Reid and Zoltan Jera remain long-term absentees.

Meanwhile, anchorman Paul Scharner is ready to make his final appearance for the Baggies. The Austrian's contract runs out this summer and the player has confirmed that he will make a move away from the Hawthorns after the season ends.

For Arsenal, French wing-back Bacary Sagna has been ruled out of this game and even the Euro 2012, after fracturing his fibula against Norwich in the last game. Defender Per Mertesacker and midfielders Mikel Arteta, Abou Diaby, Jack Wilshere and Emmanuel Frimpong all remain sidelined with ankle and knee injuries.

However, forward Theo Walcott could be on the bench for this clash as the 23-year-old continues to recover from a hamstring problem. Israel captain Yossi Benayoun, will make his final appearance for Arsenal on Sunday, before returning to Chelsea after his one-season loan move.


  • This tie will be Wenger's 600<sup>th Premier League game as the Arsenal manager.
  • West Brom have lost just once in their last six matches, while the Gunners have not won in their last four games.
  • However, Arsenal have not lost on the last day of the season since 2005, when they were defeated 2-1 by Birmingham City.
  • Last season, West Brom were unbeaten against the Gunners, with a 2-3 victory at the Emirates and a 2-2 draw at the Hawthorns.
  • The last time the Baggies kept a clean-sheet against Arsenal was in November 1985.
  • Robin van Persie needs one more strike to equal the record for the most Premier League goals in a 38-game season. If the Arsenal captain nets one on Sunday, he could be level with Alan Shearer's (1995-96) and Cristiano Ronaldo's (2007-08) tally of 31 goals.
  • The Dutch hitman has hit the woodwork a record 10 times in the league this season.
  • In the reverse fixture at the Emirates Stadium in November Arsenal beat West Brom 3-0, thanks to goals from van Persie, Thomas Vermaelen and Mikel Arteta.

Probable Starting Line-Up

West Brom: Foster, Jones, Ridgewell, McAuley, Olsson, Mulumbu, Dorrans, Scharner, Andrews, Fortune, Long

Arsenal: Szczesny, Coquelin, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Song, Ramsey, Rosicky, Benayoun, Gervinho, van Persie