Effective West Brom For Wenger
Manager Arsene Wenger has described this weekend's opponents West Bromwich Albion as having an 'effective' style of play under Tony Pulis.
Meeting with the media in his pre game press conference ahead of Saturday's clash, Wenger knows that West Brom's biggest strength is their organisation and threat from set pieces as so far this season 48% of their goals have been from dead ball situations.
Speaking to the Official Site to preview the coming game, Wenger explained.
'They have a big experience, they are well organised, physically very strong and very efficient on set-pieces. I think they`re the team who have scored more goals than anybody else on set-pieces. This season they`ve done very well in midfield. They have played very well, and up front they have Hal Robson-Kanu and Salomon Rondon who have done very well for them as well.'
'It`s a very balanced team with a good size who are equipped to deal with the Premier League. It`s true that it is tough because West Brom is traditionally always a very difficult game, but as well it`s an opportunity for us to come back to the position that is much closer to Chelsea.'
With speculation this week about both Boro Primorac and Hector Bellerin in the press, Wenger was obviously asked for some thoughts on the future of the duo and he rubbished both pieces.
For first team coach Primorac he said firstly.
'That`s a complete invention. It`s good today. You say anything and everybody takes it without checking any information. Everybody just takes and takes it and makes a subject. It`s not serious. Fake news!'
And for Bellerin.
'No. He has just extended his contract. It`s an unbelievable amount of years to go. I believe again it`s very difficult to take these things seriously.'
Whether Alexis Sanchez would start the game has become a weekly question as well.
'I haven`t picked the team yet but he has a chance, yes. Of course.'
Talking about the title, the battle at the top for the Champions League places and those issues, Wenger knew we had a fight on our hands and he knows we can't waste anymore points.
'It`s a strange championship because there`s no continuity at the moment - we`ve had games cancelled, then after you play away, you don`t play, you play FA Cup and you play away again. So you don`t really know where you stand. You don`t have the same number of games, you don`t have the continuity home and away. What is for sure is that we are in a position where we can`t waste points.'
'We want to play in the Champions League next season. We have a tough job because we have six or seven teams fighting for the places and how well we do until the end of the season will of course depend on that. On the rest, we are in the semi-finals of the FA Cup, we have an opportunity to do that as well. So overall those are our targets. After that, success is basically to take the maximum out of the potential of the team. Where is that? We will see.'
With the FA Cup semi final draw pitting us against Manchester City at Wembley, he went on to say when tasked with those questions.
'It`s a tough challenge but it promises to be a very exciting game as well because it`s two teams who will try to go into the game in a very positive move, and go for it. It should be a very promising offensive game.'
Back to West Brom to finish and talk of team news.
'Gibbs is uncertain at the moment. Oxlade-Chamberlain has a test today, but overall it`s the squad that was available for Lincoln. Elneny has joined in again. Apart from Cazorla, we should have everybody available.'
Adding about Elneny's quicker than expected return, he admitted he wasn't expecting that.
'No, because at the start it looked like it was a very bad ankle injury. He has recovered well because he`s a very strong boy and very keen to come back as quickly as possible. It worked well for him.'