West Brom v Arsenal Betting Predictions | Backing Away Win 5/1 with Betfair

Back Arsenal 5/1 @Betfair
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Betting Tip: Backing an away win with a -2 handicap at 5/1 with Betfair

Two or three weeks ago, our tip for this game would have been at best a bit out of reach. West Brom have been enjoying their best season in a long time and need just ten points to better their best campaign total of 49. They had made the Hawthorns a real fortress and looked like they could compete with anyone, while Arsenal were in complete crisis having been put to the sword by Bayern Munich and Liverpool.

But since reaching the ‘magic’ 40 points mark, the level most claim is enough for Premier League survival, Tony Pulis’ side have lost two games on the bounce and looked, in truth, as if they’re on their holidays. Of course they are not, but it happens to a lot of lower top half and higher bottom half clubs at this stage of the season. Pulis is a master of staving off relegation, but rarely makes splashes at the top of the table, perhaps this is why.

Arsenal are by no means fully out of the woods in terms of their crisis, but they need the victory more here and the odds for our tip seem too good to ignore. As has been the case for a number of years at this stage of the season, Arsene Wenger’s side only have the FA Cup and a place in next season’s Champions League to play for, but losing out on the latter would be a real disaster for the club, having never done so under Wenger.

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Victory over Lincoln in the Cup last week seemed routine, 5-0, but it took a while for the Gunners to break them down. Typically, against a Pulis side, they should find similar issues, because the midfield trio of Claudio Yacob, Darren Fletcher and James Morrison have kept a good shape this season, while the fullbacks, which have tended to be Allan Nyom and Craig Dawson do not tend to push on much, allowing Nacer Chadli and Matty Phillips the freedom to support Saloman Rondon in attack.

It is a system proven to get solid, if not spectacular results if used correctly and consistently, but requires a high level of effort and intensity to keep it up. It is impressive they have done to this point, but their recent displays will have the Arsenal players licking their lips. Crystal Palace and Everton both had the pace and guile to exploit West Brom’s drop off, picking up spaces that haven’t been their all season. When on top form, no one does this better than Arsenal.

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The whole squad must step up, but this game could be ideal for Granit Xhaka. The midfielder has endured a tough debut season, and has been targeted in recent games. While Pulis may look to push Morrison higher up the pitch to pressurise the Swiss man, doing so would leave more pockets of space for the likes of Mesut Özil to drop into, so Xhaka may not face the same level of pressure. Bet on Premier League with this generous Betfair free bet offer.

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