Arsenal warning: Remember the last time West Brom came to town?
Premier League: Arsenal v West Bromwich Albion, Emirates Stadium, Saturday November 5, 3pm
Complacency can be a dangerous thing in football, and any Arsenal fans looking ahead to Saturday and wondering how many the Gunners will win by will do well to remember that Arsene Wenger's side failed to beat the Baggies at all last season.
The miserable home defeat (see below) was followed by a disappointing 2-2 draw at The Hawthorns in March, by which time Roy Hodgson had taken over from Roberto di Matteo in the managerial seat.
Hodgson remains in his post after guiding the Baggies to a relatively comfortable mid-table finish last season, something they look capable of emulating this time around.
That did not look to be the case after five defeats in their first six games, but two draws were followed by wins over Wolves and at Aston Villa, a mini-revival that was ended by Saturday’s 2-0 home defeat to Hodgson’s former employers Liverpool.
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Eleven points from 10 games is not exactly comfortable, and the knee injury suffered by top scorer Shane Long in the 2-1 win at Villa Park has not helped.
Peter Odemwingie has so far failed to hit the heights of last season, when the Nigerian striker scored 15 times – and goals are a problem overall with just nine in 10 league games so far.
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Former Gunner Jerome Thomas will expect to start on the right flank and was among the goalscorers in that 3-2 win at the Emirates 14 months ago.
With the veteran Paul Scharner picking up a knock against Liverpool, James Morrison is likely to step into central midfield alongside Youssouf Mulumbu.
The last time Ben Foster played against the Gunners was at Wembley in February when he won the man of the match award for his display in Birmingham's Carling Cup final win. The England keeper is on loan for the season at The Hawthorns following the Blues’ relegation in May.
Arsenal 2 West Brom 3
25 September 2010
Not so much a flashback, more of a memory jog to just over a year ago when the recently promoted Baggies came to the Emirates and led 3-0 with 15 minutes to go. Samir Nasri struck twice in the closing stages but Arsenal couldn't salvage a point.
West Brom have stuttered so far this season but the victory at Villa Park did suggest they are capable of better things. Arsenal will need to be on their guard, but should return to winning ways. 2-0 to the Gunners.