Football News

Premier League preview: West Bromwich Albion v Arsenal

Created on 05 Apr., 2013 1:00 AM GMT

Arsenal head to the Hawthorns to face West Brom in the Premier League on Saturday with one goal still in mind.

The Gunners remain in a heated battle between London's three biggest sides - including Tottenham and Chelsea - for two coveted Champions League places.

North London rivals Tottenham are in the box seat with a two-point lead over Chelsea and four-point buffer over Arsenal, albeit having played an extra game.

Arsenal were in full stride as they tore Reading apart from the opening minute on Saturday and are running into some good form ahead of a winnable double header against West Brom and then Norwich.

Aiding their cause is the popular theory the departing Rafael Benitez may have a closer eye on the FA Cup and Europa League for his Chelsea side.

The Spaniard sprung a selection surprise as he made seven changes to the side that lost to Southampton on Saturday just 48 hours before knocking Manchester United out of the FA Cup.

Intriguingly, Benitez could well be placing a greater emphasis on securing silverware for his own CV, rather than ensuring Chelsea lock up a Champions League place, paving the way for Spurs and Arsenal.

Arsenal have now won five of their past six league games while West Brom have failed to recapture the same form that saw them reach the top four in the first half of the season.

Steve Clarke's side picked up 26 points in their opening 13 matches but have collected just 18 since.

They suffered a comprehensive 3-1 defeat to West Ham at Upton Park on Saturday, but are in neither European contention or relegation danger.

James Morrison, who has missed the past fortnight with a hamstring injury, remains doubtful for West Brom.

Meanhile, Gunners boss Arsene Wenger will be sweating on the fitness of Theo Walcott (groin), who missed the Reading match, and to a lesser extent Jack Wilshere (ankle), who is likely to be closer to a return the week after.

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