Funny as it may sound but Arsenal’s 5-0 thrashing of National League side Lincoln City last weekend may prove to be just what the doctor ordered. The Gunners had been in poor form prior to this FA Cup quarter-final tie with just two wins in their previous six competitive outings and had been dumped out of the Champions League thanks to a 10-2 aggregate defeat to Bayern Munich. Three Premier League defeats from four games resulted in them falling out of the top four and to say that things were looking bad at the Emirates Stadium would have been a massive understatement.
At least they weren’t knocked out of the FA Cup by a side some four divisions below them. That would have been too much to bear for many fans and one can only imagine the fall-out from such a defeat. Indeed the Imps looked set to hold the Gunners at bay until the interval but for Theo Walcott to break the deadlock in added time before the break before the Gunners ran away with things in the second half.
A major step-up in quality awaits Arsenal when they line-up at the Hawthorns this weekend and they desperately need to bag three points after falling further behind the top-four. They have a great chance to do this when they clash with a West Brom side which have lost their last two Premier League outings although aside from their defeat to Crystal Palace earlier this month, Tony Pulis’ men have been pretty solid on home turf.
Ok so Arsenal may not exactly be flying as things stand but their FA Cup win will have boosted confidence somewhat and we envisage them enjoying a successful away-day in the West Midlands at lunchtime on Saturday. The Gunners have nevertheless been finding clean-sheets rather hard to come by on the road and as such we fancy West Brom to find the net at some point whilst at the opposite end we’ll be looking to Theo Walcott to send the Gunners on their way to another three points, given that he has banged in three in his last four appearances.