Only games involving Manchester City have seen more goals than those played by Arsenal in the Premier League this season, and with four of West Brom’s five away games so far having featured at least three goals, the encounter between the Gunners and the Baggies at the Emirates on Saturday should in theory deliver plenty of attacking action.
However, with West Brom hamstrung by the loss of Shane Long and looking lacklustre in their last match – a defeat to Liverpool at the Hawthorns – the scope for goals from the away team could be limited.
Arsene Wenger’s side might have conceded at least once in each of their last five domestic fixtures, but Vermaelen’s presence in particular will improve Arsenal’s defence, as shown in the midweek European stalemate with Marseille.
Furthermore, Arsenal have only scored three or more goals in five of their eighteen matches this season, suggesting the home team might also struggle to turn the encounter into a goal fest.
And although Arsenal scored five against Chelsea in their last league game, a West Brom side set up by the pragmatic Roy Hodgson are unlikely to leave themselves as open as the Blues and allow the likes of Theo Walcott and Gervinho so much space to run into.
There could therefore be value in betting on there to be fewer than three goals in the match at 7/5, with a successful £25 free bet on this outcome set to return £60.
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But even if Arsenal don’t put three, four or five past West Brom, a home win looks assured.
The Gunners are on a run of eight wins in their last ten matches and have won their last four league games at the Emirates, while West Brom have lost three of their last four games away to Arsenal.
As such, an Arsenal victory is odds-on at 21/50 in bwin’s 3Way football betting market, with a draw at 18/5 and a West Brom victory available at 23/4.
And given the return to action of Arsenal defenders Thomas Vermaelen and Carl Jenkinson is coupled with the absence of Long – who has not yet recovered from the knee injury sustained in a one-sided challenge with Alan Hutton in West Brom’s recent victory over Aston Villa – there could also be value in betting on Arsenal to secure a win to nil of the season at odds of 31/20.
Arsene Wenger’s side might have conceded at least once in each of their last five domestic fixtures, but Vermaelen’s presence in particular will improve Arsenal’s defence, as shown in the midweek Champions League stalemate with Marseille.
Finally, coupling Arsenal’s likely win with an under 2.5 goals bet offers punters attractive returns at 333/100, although a 2-0 home victory could also prove tempting at 27/4.
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