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Saturday, 08 August 2015, 17:30

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Baggies to break down Gunners

David John expects both teams to make an impact in terms of scoring when Arsenal host West Brom on Sunday.

Last Updated: 04/05/14 at 13:23 Post Comment

There is some confidence among the West Brom players

There is some confidence among the West Brom players

David John expects both teams to make an impact in terms of scoring when Arsenal host West Brom on Sunday.

Arsenal v West Brom (1330BST)

The mentality of the Gunners will be best assessed closer to kick-off following Saturday's round of results. If Everton draw a blank at home to Manchester City then fourth place this season will belong to Arsene Wenger's side as they achieve Champions League qualification for the 17th straight season. A win or draw for the Toffees might mean a bit more focus is required from the hosts at the Emirates - which may actually not be a bad thing - but their destiny remains very much in their own hands with that valuable four-point cushion. Three wins and with three goals per game since reaching the FA Cup final has meant a real flourish as the season draws to a close in north London with the return of Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil providing a timely boost to Wenger's squad. They go into this game no bigger than 2/7 for victory but I do think that the Baggies will provide a sterner test than a hapless Newcastle on Monday, who already looked 10 days into their summer holidays. Pepe Mel's outfit probably need two points from their remaining three fixtures and just one defeat in five led centre-back Craig Dawson to assess the current mood amongst the squad as "confident". They have a recent history in this fixture of making a nuisance of themselves against Wenger's men and I certainly envisage a decent chance or two being created with the lively Stephene Sessegnon back on form. They managed to nab a very nice goal at Manchester City and look more than capable of the same again which means backing both teams to score at evens is tempting.

Verdict: Arsenal 2 West Brom 1

Opta Stats:

Arsenal have scored in all 15 previous games against the Baggies in the Barclays Premier League (W10 D3 L2).

West Brom have drawn four of their five Barclays Premier League games in London this season (L1).

Arsenal last failed to score in a Premier League game in May back in 2009 (0-0 v Man Utd).

The Gunners have scored 109 Premier League goals in May, more than any other side.

Chelsea v Norwich (1600BST)

Very much like the day's first game, Saturday's results will have an influence on how Norwich in particular will approach their trip to Stamford Bridge. Wins for Cardiff and Fulham could leave the Canaries propping up the table as this daunting final four fixtures has already lived up to expectations with no return from their matches against Liverpool and Manchester United. Norwich seriously threatened to at least force a draw against the former but a timid effort at Old Trafford as the atmosphere under new boss Ryan Giggs seemed to intimidate them. There have already been reports this week of key players like Leroy Fer and Robert Snodgrass jumping ship in the summer and that can only add to the distractions. They may be hoping for some sort of hangover from the hosts after exiting the Champions League in midweek but can you honestly see Jose Mourinho losing three consecutive games at home? Keep in mind as well their tremendous win at Anfield kept any slim title aspirations alive at this stage so a fight of sorts is still on. Eden Hazard had a bit of a swipe at Mourinho's tactics against Atletico Madrid and you get the feeling all is not completely harmonious currently. But expect the manager to get his players' eyes firmly back on the ball and claim the three points at prohibitive odds.

Verdict: Chelsea 2 Norwich 0

Opta Stats:

Chelsea have won their last 11 games on a Sunday but only two of their last five played on a Saturday.

Jose Mourinho has won all eight games played on a Sunday this season after winning only one of his final 10 Sunday games in his first spell at the club.

Norwich have scored 13 goals in their last five Premier League games played in May.

Chelsea have won only four of their last 10 Premier League games played in May.

Chelsea have not lost consecutive home league games since October/November 2011, when they lost to Arsenal and Liverpool.

The Canaries have lost their last eight away games in the Barclays Premier League.


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