This is tricky one for Arsene Wenger as Arsenal are in yet another must win game after Liverpool and Chelsea both grabbed three points this afternoon. It’s natural that Wenger must rotate as they played a high tempo 3-2 game at Crystal Palace just three days ago, and we have a crucial visit from Chelsea in just three days time and will need as many fresh players as possible.
The good news is that we are away at a West Brom side that has not won any of their last 18 games, so we can probably afford to play a slightly weaker side tonight. If we take a look at the Baggies recent home form we should be reasonably confident…..
As you can see they haven’t won any of their last 9, but as you can also see, the only games they have lost were against the top three, which tells you they are hard to beat at the Hawthorns so it may not be as easy as it looks looking at the League positions.
The good news for the Gunners is that Alan Pardew has lost his main striker Salmon Rondon to a hamstring injury and Nacer Chadli is expected to be out until March. For Arsenal, Aaron Ramsey, Olivier Giroud and Nacho Monreal are all injured so Wenger will need to be careful but he also has no choice but to rotate.
I think Koscielny needs a rest and Chambers and Holding could be the main centre-backs in a 4-3-3 formation, with Maitland-Niles and Bellerin on the flanks. Xhaka looked fatigued at the end of the Palace game and could be replaced by Coquelin beside Wilshere, with Iwobi making up the three midfielders. And I see no choice but to continue with Ozil, Sanchez and Lacazette up front.
So my team would be….
Bellerin Holding Chambers Maitland-Niles
Iwobi Wilshere Coquelin
Ozil Lacazette Lacazette
That side looks strong defensively but able to score goals. What do you think?