Two squads looking to reverse their recent fortunes in Premier League action will meet on the pitch at the Emirates on Saturday when West Brom meets Arsenal.
Currently fifth in the table with 26 points, West Brom is looking for their first victory in league play, having last emerged victorious by a score of 4-2 on November 24 against Sunderland.
Arsenal hasn't won a league match since November 21, when they downed Tottenham Hotspur 5-2. They currently sit 10th in the table with 21 points—the club's worst start to Premier League play since 1996.
Let's take a look at the crucial information for Saturday's matchup and preview all of the action.
Where: The Emirates Stadium in Islington, North London, England
When: Saturday, December 8 at 10 a.m. ET
Watch: Fox Soccer
Live Stream: Fox Soccer 2Go
Arsenal will be about as far removed from the picture of a club in good health as you can get when this one gets underway. Via the club's official Twitter account:
Midfielder Theo Walcott is out with a calf injury, forward Lukas Podolski has a strained hamstring and defender Laurent Koscielny is battling a thigh problem. We can also add defender Bacary Sagna to the list of the infirmed, as the defender will miss the match with a foot injury (h/t ESPN).
Eight players have scored goals for the Gunners this season. Three of them are out for this match. That puts increased pressure on Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla to pick up the slack.
On the other side of the pitch, West Brom is in very good health, according to manager Steve Clarke (via the club's official Twitter account):
Steve Clarke: @benfoster (groin) on schedule in recovery but won't be available to face Arsenal. Everyone else is fit.— WBAFCofficial (@WBAFCofficial) December 6, 2012
The Baggies sit in a vulnerable spot in the table, with five clubs within five points of them. While it's a good thing to be relatively healthy, the club has struggled mightily to score.
A once-potent scoring attack, led by Romelu Lukaku, Shane Long and Peter Odemwingie, has mustered only one goal over the last two matches—something they need to remedy quickly in order to avoid losing ground to those clubs within shouting distance of them, like Arsenal.
Both clubs need a victory in this one. Unfortunately for the Gunners and the Baggies, I don't see a victory in the immediate future for either side.
Prediction: Arsenal 1, West Brom 1
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