Allardyce himself says Arsenal are “absolutely” in the relegation fight given their position in the Premier League table.
The Baggies are heading to Anfield this weekend to take on live defending champions Liverpool Super Sunday, with just seven points from the first 14 league games.
Their sum ranks them second from the bottom of the table and they are already struggling to survive in the Premier League. Allardyce told reporters Wednesday that his team will need to avoid defeat from other teams at the bottom of the table if they stay awake this season.
Asked if that means Arsenal – in 15th place with 14 points – is a relegation rival, Allardyce said: “If they are currently in the top eight, yes. Absolutely.”
Arsenal have not won a league game since their 1-0 win over Manchester United on November 1, and Allardyce said a 4-1 defeat in the Carabao Cup against Manchester City on Tuesday night would undermine the confidence of Mikel Arteta’s team.
“Getting beaten again [Tuesday] night – although not in the league – as is the case with our players, drains the confidence of Arsenal players. Of course he will.
“They’ll wonder what hit them, they’ll wonder why they’re down there. They’ll wonder what it will take to get out of that position. I know what it takes, I hope I can convince the players to respond to what I say about what what is needed to get out of it.
“I hope we can press Arsenal when they play us because they lack confidence, and try to beat them or anyone in the top eight.”
Allardyce is aware of how difficult it will be to sustain West Brom this term. They have conceded 29 goals this season, only recently Leeds spared them from Manchester United in first place in that department, and the 10 goals they have scored are only better than Burnley and Sheffield United who have eight each.
“The position we’re in and how many points we have in the games we play makes it as hard a job for me as I’ve ever had,” Allardyce said.
“The only way to overcome that is obviously for these players to play better at the moment, to be more organized and consistent in the way they play in order to get to the points on the board as quickly as possible.
“And then obviously by the end of this month the window will be open.
“The trade exchange in January could be a crucial part of whether we can stay in the league or not.”
Sunday, December 27 16:15
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When Sunday’s game against Liverpool starts, it will be 1344 days since Jurgen Klopp’s team last lost at home in the league. The last defeat they suffered was a 2-1 defeat by Crystal Palace on April 23, 2017, and Allardyce was in charge of the Eagles that day.
Asked about a draft of Liverpool’s win at Anfield, Allardyce joked, “Score more goals than them!”
“I think the surprise was that we actually fell 1-0 in the first half,” he said. “But I think the faith in the team has returned; we equalized just before half time.
“Christian Benteke at the time obviously wanted to prove something at Anfield, because they just let him go from Liverpool to Crystal Palace that season. Christian turned out a very good goal from the corner.
“Let’s try as best we can. I’m not saying we’ll probably win with that record, but we can get results.
“If we miraculously won against Liverpool at Anfield, which can happen anytime in this league, it would be a wonderful achievement for the players.”