Sam Allardyce has declared Arsenal as one of West Brom’s rivals in their battle against relegation and believes their upcoming clash is a very winnable game.
Arsenal are currently suffering through one of their worst starts to a season in recent memory. They hover just three places above the drop zone – with the gap to 18th-placed Fulham just four points.
They have also just been eliminated from the Carabao Cup, losing to Manchester City in the quarter-finals.
It is an alarming situation for a club used to competing at the higher end of the table. Pundits have warned them not to think they are too big to go down.
Now, Allardyce has issued a similar message about their chances of being dragged into a relegation dogfight.
The one-time England manager recently took charge at West Brom, who themselves are looking to escape the drop. The Baggies are second-bottom having picked up just seven points from their opening 14 games.
Allardyce is hoping to turn things around, though, and will be keeping a keen eye on the fixture list to see where their points can come from.
He has now confirmed he sees Arsenal as a direct rival in the battle against the drop.
“If they are in the bottom eight at the moment, yes. Absolutely,” he said.
“Getting beaten [by Manchester City], even though it is not in the Premier League, as it would do with ours, drains the confidence of Arsenal’s players.
He added: “They will be wondering what has hit them. They will be wondering why they are down there. They will be wondering what it takes to get out of that position.
“I know what it takes. I hope to convince my players to respond to that.”
Allardyce hopes to capitalise against Arsenal
A tricky tie against champions Liverpool is next up for West Brom, but they will soon cross paths with Arsenal as well.
The two teams will face off on 2nd January, and Allardyce sees their upcoming opponents as one they can take points off.
“I hope we can push at Arsenal, when we play them, because they have a lack of confidence,” he said.
“We will try to beat them, or anybody in the bottom eight.”