Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny is fit to face West Brom after making a recovery quicker than expected from his ankle injury.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain continues to nurse his hamstring problem suffered against Lincoln City last weekend.
Kieran Gibbs will also be assessed ahead of Saturday’s lunch time kick-off.
As for the hosts, Albion boss Tony Pulis said to expect a number of changes before the game following his side’s back to back league defeats.
The Gunners discovered they face a difficult task of reaching the FA Cup final after being paired with Manchester City in the semi’s. However Arsene Wenger was in positive spirits about the tie, even hinting his side will prefer an open match against Pep Guardiola’s team as opposed to their London rivals.
“Two teams who will go in a positive mood,” said the under pressure Arsenal boss (via Metro
But first, the North Londoners face a tough task away to West Brom in a bid to close the gap on their top four rivals.
Despite the opposition, last week’s 5-0 win over Lincoln would have brought some much needed confidence back into the Arsenal team.
Last time out in the league saw the Gunners dispatched 3-1 by Liverpool. Another defeat on Saturday could see Arsene Wenger’s end up eight points behind the Merseysiders – though the Reds do have travel to Manchester City on Sunday.
Tony Pulis’ side have lost there last two but West Brom sit 8th in the Premier League, comfortably clear of the relegation pack.
The Gunners possess a mixed recent record at The Hawthorns with just one victory from the last three played. However, the Baggies’ only win in the sides last 13 meeting did come in the 2-1 win last season.
The North Londoners have scored in 22 consecutive league matches against the West Brom, winning 15 of them. This record dates back to a 0-0 away draw in November 1985.
PREDICTED ARSENAL XI
Arsene Wenger is likely to adopt a similar line up to the strong side that started against Lincoln.
Petr Cech will continue in goal after David Ospina was unable to feature last weekend. Expect Bellerin, Mustafi and Koscielny to retain their places. Though Kieran Gibbs will likely be dropped in place of Nacho Monreal.
Xhaka and Ramsey appears to have legs; The two worked well together in the first half at home to Bayern and were too much for Lincoln. Expect Mesut Ozil to operate ahead of the pair.
With Oxlade-Chamberlain out injured, Danny Welbeck is in line to replace the 24 year-old from the left. Theo Walcott will try to use his pace on the right, while up front, Alexis Sanchez will look to add to his 17 league goals this season.
Arsenal XI: Cech; Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal; Xhaka, Ramsey; Ozil, Welbeck, Walcott; Alexis
It’s an important match for Arsenal who are now playing catch up with their rivals. The Gunners do have a couple of games in hand on 4th place Liverpool, so to call it a must-win would be unreasonable.
Any fixture against a Tony Pulis team promises to be as tough and competitive as a Premier League game can be. Arsenal will need to come out fighting and match the work rate and intensity that West Brom will have in abundance.
Let’s hope Alexis is on form and can put McAuley and Evans to the sword.