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Arsenal v West Brom


Wenger: Under pressure

Wenger: Under pressure

Arsenal will be desperate to get their Premier League season back on track this weekend, but face a tough test in the form of surprise package West Brom.


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The Gunners have been well below their best this term and currently sit 10th in the standings with just 21 points from their opening 15 league matches.

That run has marked the team's worst-ever start under manager Arsene Wenger, who has been jeered by the fans on more than one occasion lately.

The north London giants crashed to a 2-0 defeat to Swansea in the league last weekend, while their final UEFA Champions League group clash against Olympiacos on Tuesday also ended in a loss, although the side had already been assured of their progression to the last-16.

The Baggies, meanwhile, find themselves in unfamiliar territory, with Steve Clarke having guided them to fifth in the standings, 10 points behind leaders Manchester United, but five ahead of their upcoming opponents.

In team news, Wenger will have to do without Theo Walcott and Lukas Podolski, who are both struggling with calf strains, meaning Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is likely to start on the wing, while Gervinho will be battling with Olivier Giroud for the lone-striker's role.

Laurent Koscielny (thigh), Bacary Sagna (ankle) and Andre Santos (abdomen), though, are all expected to miss out.

For Albion, Romelu Lukaku and Peter Odemwingie should return to the starting XI after making the bench against Stoke last time out, but Yassine El Ghanassy, Boaz Myhill and Billy Jones have all contracted stomach bugs and are doubtful.

Ben Foster's groin injury and Myhill's illness means third-choice goalkeeper Luke Daniels is likely to get his chance between the sticks.

Posted: 07/12/12 10:29

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