Arsenal v West Brom preview: Mesut Ozil back in contention for Gunners

Arsenal v West Brom preview: Mesut Ozil back in contention for Gunners
Arsenal will look to strengthen their near-perfect home Premier League record against West Brom when the teams meet on Monday Night Football.

Arsenal have won each of last six Premier League home meetings against West Brom - scoring 13 goals and conceding just one.

Going further back, Arsenal have won seven of the last eight meetings at the Emirates Stadium either side of a 3-2 defeat in 2010 when Peter Odemwingie, Gonzalo Jara and Jerome Thomas scored for Roberto Di Matteo's visitors.

Arsenal are in the midst of their worst start to a Premier League season since 2011, but made a step in right direction with a solid 0-0 draw with Chelsea last weekend.

Meanwhile, West Brom began the weekend 10th in the Premier League - one point ahead of Arsenal - losing just one of their five games. In taking charge of this visit, Tony Pulis will become the first West Brom manager to reach 100 Premier League games in charge of the club.
Team news
Mesut Ozil is in contention to return to the Arsenal team for the match.

The Germany midfielder has been struggling with a knee injury but is now back in training, while Theo Walcott should be fit despite being forced off with a knock in the midweek Carabao Cup win over Doncaster.Danny Welbeck (groin), Francis Coquelin (hamstring) and Santi Cazorla (ankle) are missing, as is Calum Chambers who has suffered a recurrence of a recent hip problem.

West Brom midfielder Gareth Barry is expected to break the Premier League appearance record on Monday.

The 36-year-old, who made his professional debut for Aston Villa in 1998, will play in his 633rd top-flight game and break Ryan Giggs' record if he features at the Emirates.

Chris Brunt (calf) will be assessed along with Nacer Chadli (thigh) and Oliver Burke (hamstring) while it remains to be seen if Jake Livermore will return to the squad after being given a break by Baggies boss Tony Pulis.
Match stats

West Brom won the last league clash between these two clubs; 3-1 at The Hawthorns in March. They haven't won successive league matches against the Gunners since March 1977.

The Baggies have suffered nine defeats away to Arsenal in the Premier League, a joint-high for them in the competition alongside away defeats to Chelsea.

West Bromwich Albion have won just five of their last 35 Premier League away matches (W5 D14 L16).
This will be the 10th time that Pulis has managed a team at the Emirates Stadium in the Premier League - he's lost every one of the previous nine there with a combined score of 20-3.

The Gunners have now won seven successive Premier League games at the Emirates Stadium; their second-best winning run at the stadium in the competition after a nine-match winning streak between December 2014 and April 2015.

Alexandre Lacazette has scored in both of his Premier League appearances at the Emirates Stadium so far - no Arsenal player has scored in their opening three appearances at home in the competition.

The last Arsenal player to score in their first three home league appearances for the club was Brian Marwood in September 1988.
Merson's prediction
When West Brom visit you expect it to be a hard, tight game. The Baggies will look to frustrate Arsenal and pick off set-plays where they can.

The Gunners did very well at Chelsea, they should be proud of the way they played and the way they worked hard for each other.

Hopefully that's a base for them to work from and it's important they keep that momentum going into this game. I can't look past a home win.

PAUL PREDICTS: 2-0 (Sky Bet odds 11/2)
Betting


Arsenal are Sky Bet's 4/11 favourites for the victory, with West Brom priced at 7/1 and the draw 19/5. The Gunners remain 28/1 shots for the Premier League despite their credible draw at Chelsea last weekend, while the visitors are 9/4 for a top-half finish.

Lacazette and Olivier Giroud are tied at the head of the first goalscorer betting at 11/4, with Jay Rodriguez and Salomon Rondon considered the visitors' main threats at 9/1 apiece.

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