Arsenal vs. West Brom: Viewing Info and Preview for Key EPL Match

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistDecember 7, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 10:  Olivier Giroud of Arsenal scores celebrates second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Fulham at Emirates Stadium on November 10, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images,)
Clive Rose/Getty Images

A matchup between two clubs on opposite ends of the spectrum will take place on Saturday at Emirates Stadium as overachieving West Bromwich Albion takes on underachieving Arsenal. It's one of the weekend's top Premier League matches.

West Brom have exceeded just about every expectation in the first half of the season. They are tied with Chelsea and Tottenham for third place with 26 points, putting him ahead of several high-profile clubs, including Arsenal.

On the flip side, the Gunners have struggled to find any semblance of consistency en route to a 10th-place standing. Last week's home loss to Swansea was the latest low point, leaving supporters frustrated at the club's direction.

It all adds up to an intriguing match on Saturday. Here's a look at all the key viewing information, along with a match preview and prediction.


Where: Emirates Stadium in London, England

When: Saturday, Dec. 8 at 10 a.m. ET

Watch: Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Deportes


Match Preview

West Brom stand at a crucial point in the campaign. The Baggies have lost two straight matches, but didn't lose much ground in the race for a European spot. Now they must figure out how to end the skid before it starts getting out of control.

The biggest issue as of late has been a lacking of finishing ability. West Brom have scored just one goal over the last two matches, as an offensive attack led by Shane Long, Peter Odemwingie and Romelu Lukaku has gone quiet.

It's up to manager Steve Clarke to find the right mix so the Baggies' scoring woes come to an end. Otherwise, a slide down the table is imminent with five clubs within five points of their coveted spot. It's a shaky situation.

West Brom does get to face an Arsenal side that will be are far less than 100 percent. Injuries have hit the Gunners hard, which has simply compounded their problems, as they try to begin a climb back toward a European spot.

Arsene Wenger announced a list of players who won't be available for the match and there are some key ones, ESPN reports.

Lukas Podolski and Theo Walcott are out. Bacary Sagna and Laurent Koscielny are not back. From Tuesday night in Greece there are no new injuries so we have a selection from the combined squad of Tuesday and Saturday.

Not having Podolski and Walcott is a huge blow to the Arsenal attack. They were two of the main reasons the club was able to break out of an early slump in the final third. It puts extra pressure on Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla.

If the Gunners were at full strength, I would chalk this match up as three points for them. But since they are dealing with key injuries and will be facing a desperate West Brom squad, a draw seems like the more likely result.

Prediction: Arsenal 1, West Brom 1