Arsenal Team News: Injuries, suspensions and line-up vs West Brom

Everything you need to know ahead of the Premier League clash at Emirates Stadium on Boxing Day

Arsene Wenger and Tony Pulis will lock horns once again when Arsenal play West Brom at Emirates Stadium on Boxing Day.

The two managers have a history of heated touchline disputes although Pulis admitted last season that they now have a "better relationship" than before.

Two consecutive defeats in the Premier League have seen Wenger's side go from top of the pile to nine points behind Chelsea in less than a fortnight and Pulis will be confident of getting something out of the game in north London.

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Wenger spoke about the recent criticism of Mesut Ozil in his pre-match press conference and backed him to respond on the pitch.

“I don’t give him any leeway when the team doesn’t have possession,” said Wenger.

“He has to do his job like everybody else and usually he does it well.

“We have to respond. Mesut Ozil is an important player, a big player, and the big players always respond to criticism on the pitch.”


ARSENAL INJURIES


Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been ruled out of the game through injury but Wenger confirmed that his absence will be a matter of days, not weeks.

Aaron Ramsey and Danny Welbeck both returned to full training ahead of Sunday's match although it is likely to come too soon for both of them.

German defender Shkodran Mustafi is out until early January while Santi Cazorla and Mathieu Debuchy are still on the sidelines.

 


ARSENAL SUSPENSIONS


Arsenal have no suspended players for this game.


ARSENAL POTENTIAL STARTING LINE-UP


Alex Iwobi is expected to start in place of the injured Oxlade-Chamberlain against West Brom, although Lucas Perez could be involved with another game against Crystal Palace coming up in quick succession.

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The central midfield partnership of Granit Xhaka and Francis Coquelin struggled to get a handle on the match at Manchester City last week but with Ramsey still out it seems unlikely that Wenger will disrupt the duo.

Theo Walcott will continue on the right hand side after netting six of his eight goals this season at Emirates Stadium. He's started all 16 Premier League matches he has been available for this season.


WEST BROM DOSSIER


West Brom have had a difficult run of fixtures in December against the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United, but wins over Watford and Swansea provided promising signs for the rest of the campaign.

Premier League table

Jonny Evans has missed the last two games with a calf strain while James Morrison also requires a late fitness test before Monday's game.

Saido Berahino, who hasn't featured since the defeat at Bournemouth in September, won't be involved with Pulis unwilling to set a timeframe on when he'll next play for the Baggies.

Salomon Rondon is their top goalscorer with 7 goals in the league.


BEST OPTA MATCH FACTS


  • Arsenal have lost just one of their last 11 Premier League games against West Brom, winning eight of them (D2).
     
  • The Baggies' only away Premier League win versus Arsenal came in September 2010, as they ran out 3-2 winners at the Emirates (D1 L8).
     
  • Arsenal are the only team to have lost three Premier League matches that they have been leading in so far this season. In 2015-16, they only lost twice in this manner all season.
     
  • The last time West Brom played Arsenal on Boxing Day was in 2002 - going 1-0 up before losing 2-1 to the Gunners.
     
  • The Gunners haven't lost three succssive Premier League matches since January 2012. This is also the last time that they lost as many as three league games in the same month.
     
  • Alexis Sanchez has been involved in 18 goals in 17 Premier League appearances for Arsenal this season (12 goals, 6 assists); one more than he managed in 30 league appearances last season (17 - 13 goals, 4 assists).

TV COVERAGE & KICK-OFF TIME


Kick off is at 3:00pm UK time on Monday 26th December and the match isn't being broadcast on TV. However, you can follow live text coverage on Goal.com.