Before every Arsenal fixture, we’ll bring you a Scouting Report on the Gunners’ next opponents.

Former Arsenal midfielder Stewart Robson will give his pre-match view and you can get his post-match verdict in our Talking Tactics feature on Arsenal Player.

Arsène Wenger and his side face West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns on Sunday so, to find out more, we also asked local journalist Steve Madeley for his analysis.

Stewart Robson

"In recent weeks, Marc-Antoine Fortune has led the line well, allowing Shane Long and Peter Odemwingie to run beyond him. Long may lack technical quality but he has excellent pace and is a good finisher. Chris Brunt may not be fit this weekend but in James Morrison, Graham Dorrans and Yousouff Mulumbu, West Brom have players who can cause problems.

"Arsenal will need to defend with determination at set plays because Gareth McAuley, Jonas Olsson, Paul Scharner and Liam Ridgewell are good in the air. However, many of the goals conceded by Roy Hodgson's men have been from counter-attacks. With Arsenal being a great counter-attacking team, the game could be won by the side that reacts quickest when the ball changes hands."

Scouting Report - Tactics

“West Brom generally line up in a 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1 formation. They have gone with three strikers at various points this season but usually they will have four defenders, four midfielders and two straight strikers.

“If everyone is fit they tend to have Chris Brunt on the right, who tends to drift infield a little bit, and then Jerome Thomas who likes to stay wide. But Brunt is definitely out at the weekend and Thomas is a doubt through illness.

“Marc-Antoine Fortune, although he doesn't score an awful lot of goals, has been playing very well up front recently so he could be a threat to Arsenal. Elsewhere Peter Odemwingie, who is again a fitness doubt, is always likely to get a goal so he should be watched carefully too.

“West Brom will want to give Roy Hodgson a good send-off in their final game but the mood around The Hawthorns is generally one of a relaxed nature given that they are safely in mid-table. There is a mixture of sadness among the fans that Hodgson is going but also plenty of pride that one of their own has got the England job.

“You could have obviously made a case for him or Harry Redknapp. I wouldn't say I am personally pleased because he has been very good to deal with but I am pleased for him and I hope he does well.

“West Brom have nothing to lose really. The game means everything to Arsenal and not a great deal to them so I think they will approach it as they did against Bolton on Sunday. They seemed to be fairly relaxed until Bolton went 2-0 up and then there was a bit more intensity in their game. I think it will be quite an occasion for the fans wanting to give Hodgson a good send-off so I think the players will just want to enjoy the day.

“But when all is said and done I think I will go for a score draw.” 

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    11 May 2012