Match Preview: West Brom

Nasri has the ingredients to succeed

Arsene Wenger confirmed today Kolo Toure and Samir Nasri have been included in the sqaud to face West Brom in the first Premier League fixture 2008/09.

And Wenger gave a glowing comment on the Frenchman, who is set to make his debut for the club. Speaking on Arsenal.com he said: “He is doing very well, he is an intelligent boy and that is always a very good ingredient. When you are intelligent in life and with talent, you always have a chance.

“For me he is a player who has a good engine, good technique and vision. He can play the final ball which we like here. He has the technical level to go into any combination and is very mobile. We believe he has the ingredients to fit into our game.

“He can replace Alex Hleb in the build-up of the game, in the creation of the chances, and he is very versatile. He is also very young, the same age as Cesc Fabregas. We now have a very young generation which can develop together. I expect he will fit well into our collective game and that he expresses a good attitude, is very ambitious and fights very hard for the team.”

Kolo Back but that’s All

Kolo Toure is not fully fit but is added to the squad. Philippe Senderos (hamstring), Cesc Fabregas (hamstring), Abou Diaby (thigh), Eduardo (leg), Tomas Rosicky (hamstring), Amaury Bischoff (groin) and Alex Song (Olympics participation). For West Brom those unavailable include Moore, Meite, Koren, Zuiverloon and Clement.

Let’s Talk Tactics

Arsenal are likely to play a similar team to the match against FC Twente due to the lack of options but Nasri may come in for Eboue and Bendtner for Adebayor. Expect a tougher match as Arsenal send out an inexperienced side.

Arsenal (4-4-2 right to left): Almunia – Sagna, Djourou, Gallas, Clichy – Walcott, Denilson, Ramsey, Nasri – Adebayor, Van Persie,

(Subs from): Fabianski, Eboue,Toure , Bendtner, Vela, Wilshere, Gibbs.

Key Player: Robin Van Persie– His goals early last season gave Arsenal a platform and now the same is expected of him but to deliver for longer in the season.

West Brom were promoted on the back of playing attacking football and are set to continue that way however in the Premiership promoted teams adopting the same approach is considered suicide but the Tony Mobraw must be applauded for his bravery. The Baggies have lost star man Zoltan Gera so it is even more important for Jonathan Greening to exert his influence. Expext the baggies to play more cautiously in what is likely to be a flexible 4-4-2, allowing them to revert to 4-5-1 moving Ishmael Miller to the left. West Brom are still a couple of players short so expect some to play out of position.

West Brom (from): Carson, Kiely, Hoefkens, Barnett, Meite, Cech, Morrison, Greening, Kim, Brunt, Bednar, Miller, Pele, Beattie, MacDonald, Dorrans, Hodgkiss.

Dangerman: Ismael Miller– Strong and pacy, the forward man was key when the Baggies were promoted and his talents will need to be at his best if West Brom are likely to come away with anything.

Verdict: Arsenal should win it because of the superior technical ability however it should be a tougher match than expected. West Brom will be cautious and look to counter Arsenal, while the midfield area is key as the inexperienced duo of Ramsey and Denilson will probably be up against a three man midfield. Struggle to exert any influence could mean a frustrating start for the Gunners.

Prediction: Arsenal win 2-0

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