Wednesday Football Tips: Back Ajayi in the air against Arsenal

Wednesday Football Tips: Back Ajayi in the air against Arsenal

Paul Higham thinks Semi Ajayi is a good price to rise above the Arsenal defence for West Brom in their Carabao Cup tie.

West Brom v Arsenal
Wednesday 25 August, 20:00
Live on Sky Sports Main Event

Rarely are these Carabao Cup clashes must-wins this early in the season, but Mikel Arteta is under all kinds of pressure as he takes Arsenal to West Brom on Wednesday night.

Two defeats have followed on from a summer of questionable transfer dealings, and as is the way with modern football the heat is already on.

Arteta is the even-money favourite to be the first Premier League manager to leave his post this season.

The last thing he needs then is a trip to an unbeaten West Brom side sitting second in the Championship and not suffering from any crisis of confidence whatsoever.

The Baggies have also had no problems finding the net – scoring 11 times in four games so they’ll smell an upset here. Although would it really be a shock if the Gunners went out?

Given the way Arsenal have been defending, one of the last people they’ll want to see is former Gunner Semi Ajayi – the giant West Brom centre back who is set to start in place of the injured Matt Clarke.

The Gunners were bullied by Brentford and outmuscled by Romelu Lukaku and at set plays they look extremely vulnerable – all six-foot-three of Ajayi striding forward at every opportunity will see Arsenal’s backline quaking in their boots.

Clarke had already had two headers on target this season, as has fellow defender Kyle Bartley, and Ajayi can be found at an attractive 4/1 to have 1+ headers on target in the #OddsOnThat specials on the Sportsbook.

Ajayi is a decent footballer having spent time learning his craft at Arsenal, but the majority of his efforts on goal throughout his career have come via his head.

65 of his 112 efforts on goal have come in the air and if West Brom have been watching Arsenal defend at all this season they’ll be keen to get set pieces into that box as often as they can.