West Bromwich Albion new manager Sam Allardyce says he considers Arsenal a relegation rival.
Arsenal’s poor start to the season sees them in 15th place and just four points above the bottom three.
West Brom are 19th, seven points behind Mikel Arteta’s side.
When asked if he saw Arsenal as a rival in the battle for Premier League survival, Allardyce said: “If they are in the bottom eight at the moment, yes. Absolutely.”
Arsenal suffered their third defeat in four games on Tuesday night as they were beaten 4-1 by Manchester City in the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup.
Allardyce added: “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.
“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.”
West Brom host Arsenal in the Premier League on 2 January and Allardyce is confident his side can take advantage of their opponent’s poor form and get a much-needed win in their battle for survival.
“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.”
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