At last a PL game, no more of that fancy pants Cup football with silly score lines, just good old fashioned League action, and to cap it all we are going to the Midlands, the epicentre of dull.
Think Stoke, B’ham. Villa, Wolves , Walsall and WBA. Think Pulis.
WBA were a top club who were amongst the first to promote black players – Cyril Regis, Brendan Batson and Laurie Cunningham, all of whom played under Big Ron Atkinson. Today WBA are doing well, in fact they are only 7 points behind us!
And, Mr Wenger has won just one of seven away games vs Mr Pulis. Which by anyone’s standards is pretty p*** poor. Last season we lost 2-1 at the Hawthorns.
Referee: Neil Swarbrick, (not the leader of the magnificent folk combo Fairport Convention) averages 4 cards a game – I think we know which midfielder will be adding to his abominable record of a red and 5 yellows in his last 6 games.
Bellerin Mustafi Koscielny Monreal
Ramsey Xhaka Iwobi
Walcott Sanchez Ozil
This could be a little too attack-minded for a game which will be a battle and perhaps Coquelin will start ahead of either Ramsey or Iwobi.
Another concern is the lack of height in the team as WBA score a huge percentage of their goals from set pieces, perhaps we should give the BFG a start in place of Mustafi who has not looked so brilliant in recent weeks, perhaps he needs a break. Given the height issue we could see Giroud, though I expect the FFP to come on for the last 20 minutes, he has a good record against the Baggies.
If we win (big if) our two games in hand over Liverpool we go back into the Top 4. WeMr Wenger says we cannot afford to drop any points (that’s why he earns the Big Bucks :-D)