Arsenal v West Brom: Gunners face more frustration after European exit

West Brom boss Sam Allardyce
Sam Allardyce has never before suffered relegation as a manager

West Brom travel to Arsenal on Sunday and Simon Mail thinks the hosts are hard to trust after their Europa League exit...

"With just six wins from 17 home games, Arsenal have no right to be such a short price."

Arsenal v West Brom
Sunday, 19:00
Live on BT Sport 1

Arsenal reeling after semi-final disappointment

Arsenal's miserable season reached a new low after the club's Europa League semi-final exit against Villarreal on Thursday. Mikel Arteta's side produced a limp display in their goalless draw at home, losing the tie 2-1 on aggregate, to leave them facing a season without European football for the first time in 25 years.

The fact former boss Unai Emery masterminded Arsenal's European defeat emphasised the state of Arsenal's decline.

Emery was sacked by the club in November 2019 despite having finishing fifth in his first season in charge.

Arteta is rightly under huge pressure with the Gunners languishing ninth in the Premier League. Arsenal won 2-0 at Newcastle last weekend but the misfiring side have lost 13 league games this campaign, including seven at the Emirates.

West Brom out of time and games

West Brom are on the brink of relegation and their fate will be sealed on Sunday night if they lose. Sam Allardyce replaced Slaven Bilic in December but he has been unable to lift the club outside the relegation zone despite a brief rally recently. The Baggies pulled off a sensational 5-2 win at Chelsea last month before beating Southampton 3-0 but have failed to win since.

The killer blow came at Aston Villa with a 90th minute equaliser from Keinan Davis denying them the victory in a 2-2 draw. Mbaye Diagne's goal could only salvage a 1-1 draw at home to Wolves on Monday which leaves the side ten points behind fourth-bottom Newcastle with four games remaining.

Allardyce has never been relegated as a manager but it looks as if his impressive record as a survival specialist is about to take a hit.

Arsenal cannot be trusted at short odds

Arsenal look incredibly short at just 1.511/2 and the hosts are far too unreliable to trust at these odds. With just six wins from 17 home games, Arsenal have no right to be such a short price. Arsenal are essentially an average Premier League team and yet are going off shorter than third-placed Leicester did at home to West Brom a couple of weeks ago.

Mikel Arteta, Arsenal manager.jpg

West Brom are trading at 7.413/2 and the visitors know they have to win. Allardyce's side have improved in recent weeks, losing just one of their last five games, and were outstanding on their last trip to London as they thrashed Chelsea. Winning this game may prove beyond them but they are a better option than taking slender odds on the hosts.

The draw can be backed at 4.84/1 and West Brom have been held in their last two matches. A point is simply not enough for the Baggies though and they have to go for broke. The draw certainly merits consideration but the best bet in this market looks to be a lay of Arsenal with a hangover from their European woes likely.

Side with Baggies in low-scoring match

West Brom may be going down but they still bring more form into this contest than Arsenal. The Gunners have only scored 19 goals at home this season - the lowest return from a team in the top half of the table. Arsenal have also gone six matches in all competitions without a victory at the Emirates with their last win in March.

It looks worth combining a low-scoring match with opposing the unimpressive hosts. Using Betfair's Bet Builder, backing West Brom in the double chance market and under 3.5 goals increases the odds to 3.35. It may not be enough to avoid relegation but West Brom can go down fighting by avoiding defeat.

Opta Stat

Arsenal have failed to score in 10 home matches within a single season in all competitions for the first time in the club's history.

Follow Simon's bets on Twitter @watfordtipster

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