Arsenal Super Fan predicts draw with West Brom, raves about Pereira
This is part of a regular series from our panel of Super Fans on upcoming West Brom games. Ahead of our away clash with Arsenal we spoke to Super Fan Matt Dawson, a writer for Football FanCast who can be found on Twitter @mattddawson.
West Brom are running out of chances to save their Premier League status and will need to pick up three points against Arsenal on Sunday.
That is easier said than done, as Albion are without a win in three games and were beaten 4-0 by the Gunners in January.
Mikel Arteta’s side will be reeling after an embarrassing Europa League exit on Thursday too, so may have a point to prove at The Emirates.
Sam Allardyce was rarely defeatist in his pre-match press conference but we think he will be quietly confident of earning a win.
West Brom have faired quite well when their backs are against the wall, as the 5-2 win over Chelsea demonstrates, and the likes of Okay Yokuslu and Conor Gallagher will look to frustrate Arsenal.
Super Fan Matt Dawson picked out the Turk as one to look out for, and he seems to be a big admirer of Matheus Pereira too.
Here is what he had to say about Sunday’s clash.
What’s the latest Arsenal team news? Any injuries of note?
Arsenal were rocked with the injury blow to Granit Xhaka in the warm-up against Villarreal which was a crushing blow.
The Gunners will be sweating over his fitness while David Luiz could also miss out. Alex Lacazette only just returned in midweek while Kieran Tierney’s fitness still isn’t at 100%. With that in mind, we could see a weakened team.
Where can Arsenal hurt West Brom?
Definitely in defence. The Baggies were absolutely battered last time they played Arsenal with the likes of Bukayo Saka, Lacazette and Emile Smith Rowe running riot.
Their quick interchanging play was simply too much for West Brom. Arsenal have to play in a similar fashion on this occasion.
Where do you see West Brom’s biggest strengths and weaknesses?
West Brom’s biggest player is undoubtedly Matheus Pereira.
He’s been exceptional this season chipping in with goals and assists in a regular basis. He’ll be a huge threat to Arsenal’s shaky backline.
Yokuslu will also be a player to keep an eye on at the base of the midfield.
If you could have one West Brom player in your team who would it be, and why?
To bring things back to Pereira, I’d absolutely adore him at Arsenal. He’s versatile and has creativity in abundance.
Arteta’s men haven’t had enough of that this season, while they also lack a goal scoring midfielder. The fact Joe Willock has scored more goals from midfield than any Arsenal player this season while on loan at Newcastle sums it up.
What’s your score prediction for the game and why?
I’m expecting a close encounter with the Baggies striving to stay up and I reckon it may actually finish a draw. 1-1.
Do you think Big Sam would have had a better shot at keeping Albion up if he arrived sooner? Would you back him to get West Brom promoted next year?
I think West Brom were a sinking ship this year regardless of when they brought in Allardyce. That said he has made a huge difference and if they go down, I’d definitely back him to take them back up.
In other West Brom news, West Brom want three times what they paid for in-demand player, report The Times.