The Gunners are looking to arrest their recent slide by keeping up their top-four bid when they return to Premier League action at the Hawthorns
After disappointment in the Champions League, Arsenal will return their focus to their Premier League campaign when they visit West Brom on Saturday.
Football on TV: The full UK fixtures
The Gunners’ 10-2 aggregate humiliation at the hands of Bayern Munich has resulted in protests against Arsene Wenger’s management but the Frenchman will attempt to navigate a route back into Europe’s top competition before making a decision on his future.
Standing in their way at the Hawthorns is a West Brom side that has won eight of their 14 home league matches this season.
|Game||West Brom vs Arsenal|
|Date||Saturday, March 18, 2017|
|Time||12:30 GMT, 08:30 ET|
TV CHANNEL & LIVE STREAM
In the UK, the match will be available to watch live on television on Sky Sports 1 and free on Sky Sports Mix. It can also be streamed via the Sky Go app, with coverage beginning at 11:30 GMT.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
|Sky Sports 1 / Mix||Sky Go|
In the US, the match will be available to watch live on television on NBCSN and by stream via NBC’s website, with coverage beginning at 08:00 ET and 5:00 PT.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
SQUADS & TEAM NEWS
|Position||West Brom players|
|Defenders||Olsson, Evans, McAuley, Dawson, Galloway, Nyom, Wilson|
|Midfielders||Yacob, Morrison, Brunt, McClean, Phillips, Fletcher, Leko, Chadli, Livermore, Field|
Matt Phillips has been struggling with a hamstring injury but his call-up to the Scotland squad suggests he may be nearing a return. Otherwise, Tony Pulis has a fully fit squad at his disposal.
After being dropped to the bench against Everton, expect to see Salomon Rondon restored to the starting lineup at the expense of Hal Robson-Kanu.
Potential starting XI: Foster; Dawson, McAuley, Evans, Nyom; Fletcher, Livermore, Morrison; Phillips, Rondon, Chadli.
|Goalkeepers||Cech, Ospina, Martinez|
|Defenders||Debuchy, Gibbs, Mertesacker, Gabriel, Koscielny, Monreal, Bellerin, Jenkinson, Holding, Mustafi|
|Midfielders||Ozil, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey, Coquelin, Elneny, Iwobi, Xhaka, Reine-Adelaide, Maitland-Niles|
|Forwards||Giroud, Walcott, Alexis, Welbeck, Perez|
Arsenal will run late fitness tests on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Kieran Gibbs, though Nacho Monreal is likely to start at left-back anyway.
Assuming Oxlade-Chamberlain is not risked in the starting lineup, Aaron Ramsey, Granit Xhaka and Francis Coquelin are in contention for two spots in central midfield. Up front, Olivier Giroud scored in the FA Cup against Lincoln City and could continue as a result.
Potential starting XI: Cech; Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal; Ramsey, Xhaka; Walcott, Ozil, Alexis; Giroud.
BETTING & GAME ODDS
Despite playing away from home Arsenal are 3/4 favourites to beat the Baggies, according to Oddschecker. The draw is best priced at 3/1 and West Brom are a 21/5 shot.
Live & FREE football on TV this week
Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud are favoured to score first at 4/1, with Lucas Perez and Theo Walcott available at 11/2. Salomon Rondon is top of the pile for the hosts at 15/2.
This feels like the weekend in which Arsenal will either get their top-four hopes back on track or plummet further towards recording one of their poorest seasons in recent memory.
Defeats to Liverpool and Bayern Munich – and even accounting for the severity of the thrashing at the hands of the Germans – are one thing but a failure to get back on track against mid-table opposition would really set alarm bells ringing.
It would also give Liverpool the chance to continue to build a cushion between themselves as the Gunners, who have played two games fewer.
On the other hand, a victory would bring Arsenal to within two points of the Reds ahead of their difficult match against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday. It may be too late for Arsene Wenger to convince most fans he is the right man for the job next season, but he could at least preserve his record of qualifying for the Champions League.
Wenger has chopped and changed his lineup over the past few weeks partially due to a sickness bug, but it is illustrative of the lack of a clear spine to his team that it is not obvious who will start in central midfield or at centre forward at the Hawthorns.
The back five has become fairly settled but questions continue to abound over Aaron Ramsey’s best position, Granit Xhaka’s discipline, Francis Coquelin’s quality and, of course, Alexis Sanchez’s future.