Mikel Arteta’s side have endured their worst start to a Premier League season in 118 years following back-to-back 2-0 defeats to Brentford and Chelsea.
A League Cup tie will provide a welcome distraction for the Spaniard, whose position in the hot seat is growing increasingly precarious.
Arsenal won their most recent meeting with West Brom, with goals from Emile Smith Rowe, Nicolas Pepe and Willian firing them to a 3-1 victory in May.
Arsenal’s squad has been ravaged by injuries and COVID-19, which means Arteta does not have the luxury of ringing the changes.
The Gunners will be without a number of first-team players for the trip to the Hawthorns. Eddie Nketiah, Gabriel Magalhaes and Thomas Partey are all out until after the international break. Ben White, Willian, Alex Runarsson and Alexandre Lacazette are yet to recover from COVID-19 and are unlikely to feature.
Kieran Tierney and Gabriel Martinelli picked up minor injuries against Chelsea and will probably not be risked for a League Cup encounter. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang featured from the bench against Chelsea but he too might be preserved for their league game against Manchester City.
Predicted Arsenal lineup vs West Brom (4-2-3-1)
New signing Aaron Ramsdale is expected to make the Arsenal lineup. The English goalkeeper arrived at the Gunners earlier this month on a £24 million deal from Sheffield United. While Bernd Leno is still Arsenal’s first-choice keeper, Ramsdale can strengthen his claim with a few impressive displays in the cup competitions.
With Kieran Tierney unlikely to be risked, new signing Nuno Tavares could be handed his first Arsenal start at left-back. Despite a disappointing display against Chelsea, Cedric Soares could retain his spot at right-back mainly due to Arsenal’s lack of options in defence.
With Gabriel and White unavailable, Pablo Mari, Rob Holding and Calum Chambers are the only centre-backs at Arteta’s disposal. Mari had a nightmare against Chelsea and could be rotated out in favour of Chambers.
Albert Sambi Lokonga impressed in central midfield in Arsenal’s defeats to Chelsea and Brentford, but the Belgian could be given a rest against West Brom. He is likely to be replaced by Mohamed Elneny in the Arsenal lineup. Granit Xhaka is expected to partner Elneny, adding some experience to a youthful side.
New signing Martin Odegaard could make his second debut for the club if his visa issues are sorted in time. The Norwegian joined Arsenal on a €35 million deal from Real Madrid last week and is expected to play a major role for the Gunners in the long-term.
If Odegaard is unavailable, Emile Smith Rowe could continue in the No. 10 role.
Arteta has very few options to call upon in attack due to a combination of injuries and illness. Reiss Nelson might just be handed a start on the left flank, while Nicolas Pepe should retain his spot on the right.
With Aubameyang still not at full fitness, Folarin Balogun will likely lead the line for the Gunners.