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Match Preview: Arsenal v West Brom (Premier League)

Arsenal entertain West Bromwich Albion in the 2008-2009 Premiership curtain raiser at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger will be looking to put the disappointment of last season behind him. In a season that promised so much the Gunners ended the campaign without a trophy. Something the Frenchman is keen to put right this season.

Baggies boss Tony Mowbray might have wished for an easier opening fixture after winning the Championship last season, with Mowbray reportedly a fan of Wenger and the Arsenal style of play. However, Mowbray is not sending his team to London for a day trip and his West Brom side were by far the best footballing team in the Championship last season and could surprise a few people this season.

Arsenal have seen a few key players leave the Emirates in the summer, with Mathieu Flamini, Gilberto Silva, Alexander Hleb and Jens Lehmann all moving on. Wenger once again has kept to his policy of bringing young talent to the North London club following the arrival of Samir Nasri, Amaury Bischoff, Aaron Ramsey and Francis Coquelin. The Gunners boss has also handed professional deals to six of the youth team.

Out of all the promoted clubs the Baggies have been most active in the transfer market, with Luke Moore, Kim Do-Heon, Gianni Zuiverloon, Graham Dorrans, Roman Bednar, Marek Cech, Scott Carson and Abdoulaye Meite all committing to the Hawthorns. Zoltan Gera, Curtis Davies and Kevin Phillips are the most notable players to leave the Midlands club this summer.

Arsenal Team News

Samri Nasri looks set to make his full Arsenal debut having missed the midweek Champions League qualifier against FC Twente because of a niggling thigh and knee complaint.

Defender Kolo Toure (hip) will also be back in the squad, but Cesc Fabregas (hamstring), Abou Diaby (thigh), Philippe Senderos (hamstring), Amaury Bischoff (groin), Tomas Rosicky (hamstring) and striker Eduardo (leg) remain in recovery, while Alex Song is at the Olympics.

An interesting match fact for you, Arsenal last lost on the opening day in 2000 when they were beaten 1-0 away at Sunderland.

Predicted Starting XI

Almunia

Sagna – Toure – Gallas – Clichy

Eboue – Denilson – Nasri – Walcott

Adebayor – van Persie

West Brom Team News

West Brom are without striker Luke Moore, midfielder Robert Koren, central defender Neil Clement and right-back Gianni Zuiverloon.

Moore has a thigh problem, Koren is still not fit following a knee ligament injury, Clement also has a knee problem while Zuiverloon is on duty with Holland at the Olympics.

Central defender Abdoulaye Meite, who joined Albion from Bolton Wanderers in a £3.5million deal last weekend, is set to make his debut in place of Clement.

Predicted Starting XI

Carson

Hoefkens – Barnett – Meite – Cech

Morrison – Greening – Kim – Brunt

Bednar – Miller

Match Prediction: Arsenal 2-0 West Brom

Leave your views and predictions of tomorrow’s game in the comments section below.

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Biscuit
Biscuit
12 years ago

Wba will score, we are not going to to completely destroy them. But we will win, im going for a 2-1 maybe 3-1. I think that RVP and Ade will be the difference

samiir
samiir
12 years ago

Almunia

Sagna – Toure – Gallas – Clichy

Walcott – Denilson – Nasri – vela

Adebayor – van Persie

robert
robert
12 years ago

I dont think that either Toure or Nasri will start because AW said that they were going be in the squad not ready to start. there is a big difference

i
i
12 years ago

i want to see Carlos vela,does any one think Eboue could play that Steven Gerrard role.

JohnV
JohnV
12 years ago

Im well looking forward to the game as i will be there in the upper tier wearing my Vela 12 Shirt :D. Im expecting us to win hopefully comfortably maybe a 2-0 or 3-0 result. Looking foward to seeing Nasri and i hope that Vela gets a chance off the bench as he looks like he'll b a great impact player for us.

steve nasc
steve nasc
12 years ago

if we believe that wba at home is a tough game then we are in for a shit season,should be a comfortable win with wba chasing shadows,cmon you gunners

The Albion
The Albion
12 years ago

Don't underestimate us boys, this result is not cut and dried by any means.

Our manager has an unhealthy obsession with Mr Wenger and he'll be a lot more clued up than you might think for this one.

With your quality up front I think you'll sneak it, but your fringe players may have their work cut out a little more than they're expecting against our midfield.

Greening, Kim and Cech (who'll be in midfield) should not be underestimated and Miller, up top, has been sharp all preseason.

2-1 Gunners.

Good luck this season

duke gunner
duke gunner
12 years ago

i think nasiri will do well with fab at the midfield .
prediction 3-0

Steven The Gunner
Steven The Gunner
12 years ago

Tough Game ????

More Like Walk In The Park

The Game Is Not Gonna End 2-1 With Adebayor And Van persie On The Pitch

GoonerChris
12 years ago

Will be a good game, West Brom are no mugs and I'm sure Mowbray will organise his team well.

Steven The Gunner
Steven The Gunner
12 years ago

Tough Game ????

More Like Walk In The Park

The Game Is Not Gonna End 2-1 With Adebayor And Van persie On The Pitch

ahmed
12 years ago

arsenal will win the match by 3

JamJam
JamJam
12 years ago

Im going for 2-1 and a tight game with the winner coming late. We have to watch out for Greening, Kim and Millers long range shooting as they all have great shots. Morrison will provide a tough test for Clichy and has already scored at the Emirates for Middlesbrough 2 years ago. Cech is an attacking ledt back who has a very good cross, the same with Hoefkens who loves to get forward. Bednar will prove a physical test for Gallas and Toure and Miller will keep them on their toes with his pace. Meite will be a treat from… Read more »

steve nasc
steve nasc
12 years ago

if we believe that wba at home is a tough game then we are in for a shit season,should be a comfortable win with wba chasing shadows,cmon you gunners

kesh
kesh
12 years ago

Here's how I think Arsenal will line up:

Almunia

Sagna – Toure – Gallas – Clichy

Walcott – Denilson – Djourou – Nasri

Adebayor – van Persie

Also from my understanding West Brom has play 4-5-1 for most of pre-season and I would expect them to keep that formation especially against Arsenal

steve nasc
steve nasc
12 years ago

no chance le boss loves eboue!

Steven The Gunner
Steven The Gunner
12 years ago

Prediction

5-1

Adebayor 2 Van Persie 1 Theo walcott 1 Nasri 1

Randy
12 years ago

I predict we will win 2-1. another game like against Fulham last year.

FIRST!

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