EVEN a win at the Hawthorns will not elevate Arsenal into the top four as the Gunners are five points adrift of Liverpool with their Champions League hopes hanging by a thread.
West Brom, meanwhile, have lost their last two Premier League games – without scoring – so Arsene Wenger’s men could take advantage of their fragile confidence.
Apart from FA Cup wins against non league opponents Lincoln and Sutton, the Londoners have also hit a slippery slope after heavy defeats to Bayern Munich (twice) and Liverpool.
And with the constant speculation surrounding Arsene’s future – and talk of training ground spats – these are tricky times for the Gunners, with Manchester City waiting around the corner in league and cup.
However, Zapsportz writers Harry Harris and Dave Smith are predicting an away win whilst team leader Glenn Hoddle is going for a draw.
Here are our predictions ahead of the Saturday lunchtime clash in the West Midlands…
Glenn Hoddle: West Brom 1 Arsenal 1
Harry Harris: West Brom 0 Arsenal 2
Dave Smith: West Brom 1 Arsenal 2
And here’s what the managers have to say about tomorrow’s clash….
After the recent disappointments against Everton and Crystal Palace, West Brom head coach Tony Pulis said: “The most important thing is that we get that mentality into the players and into everyone around the football club that we want to get more points, that we want to push on.”
As quoted on the BBC Sport website – http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/39240147 – the veteran boss added: “My aim is to get a team that can stay in the top 12 every year and get to cup finals. You’ve got to have that strong mentality and desire to do that.”
Arsenal manager Wenger said: “Our job is to do as well as we can until the end of the season. We want to play in the Champions League next season.
“We have a tough job because we have six or seven teams fighting for the places. We are in the semi-finals of the FA Cup we have an opportunity to do that as well.
“After that, success is basically to take the maximum out of the potential of the team. Where is that? We will see.”