Can Arsenal overcome Hawthorns hoodoo?
Arsenal travel to the Hawthorns to face West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League on New Year’s Eve, but the Gunners don’t have the best away record against its Midlands opponents.
Arsene Wenger has come unstuck a number times in recent seasons away to Albion, and Sunday’s clash will be a big test to see if they’ve learned from past mistakes.
Arsenal’s away form has been inconsistent this season
The London club has been far from convincing away from home in 2017/18. They picked up all three points to Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Thursday evening, but the game ended a five-goal thriller and saw Arsenal ride their luck on more than one occasion.
Before then, Wenger’s side managed just two wins from nine on the road, having taken five games to notch their first away victory of the league campaign. They lost to Stoke City and Liverpool in August, while also drawing with Chelsea in August, before a defeat to Watford was followed by a victory over Everton on October 22.
It was another month until they bagged another away win, beating Burnley at Turf Moor – no mean feat given their surprise form this season. It then took another four weeks for Arsenal to pick up all three points on the road again, this time against Palace.
Arsene Wenger’s side has lost more away games than they’ve won in the Premier League ahead of their trip to the Hawthorns, and their poor personal record against Albion further hampers their chances of getting a result.
Arsenal have struggled at the Hawthorns
Arsenal has endured some difficult trips to West Brom in recent seasons, picking up just one win in 90 minutes since 2013. The Gunners have lost their last two visits to the Hawthorns ahead of Sunday’s meeting, and have struggled for goals for many years.
Arsenal’s last five away meetings against West Brom (in all competitions)
- 18/3/17 (EPL) West Brom 3-1 Arsenal
- 21/11/15 (EPL) West Brom 2-1 Arsenal
- 29/11/14 (EPL) West Brom 0-1 Arsenal
- 6/10/13 (EPL) West Brom 1-1 Arsenal
- 25/9/13 (League Cup) West Brom 1-1* Arsenal
Arsenal has scored just one goal in each of their last five trips to the Hawthorns, but they at least are coming off the back of more convincing form – four-game unbeaten away run (eight points), scoring three in their last match. Albion do make their own ground a fortress, however…
West Brom are hard to beat on home soil
Despite being far from their best this season, West Brom has still been strong in their own backyard, losing only to the elite sides in the Premier League. Albion have suffered three defeats at the Hawthorns in 2017/18, - to the three sides occupying the top-three spots in the table – Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea. They’ve picked up points against the other seven sides faced at home, conceding just five goals.
As a result, Alan Pardew’s men could be a real thorn in the side for Arsenal. They have plenty to play for, given they’re currently in the relegation zone at the mid-point of the season, so the Gunners can’t expect any favours on New Year’s Eve. Arsenal have come unstuck in their last two trips to the Hawthorns, but could it be third-time lucky this weekend?