Allardyce himself says he currently sees Arsenal as one of West Brom’s relegation rivals.
The Gunners, who have only won once in their last 10 Premier League appearances and beat Manchester City 4-1 in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals on Tuesday, are currently 15th in the table with 14 points from as many games – four points away from relegation zones. .
Albion is second from below with seven points – five safety advances – and hosts Arsenal on Jan. 2, after games against champions Liverpool on Sunday and at home against the Leeds two days later.
Allardyce, who was appointed head of Baggies last week, stressed at his news conference Thursday the importance of the team in scoring points against other sides in the bottom eight in their remaining.
Asked if he considers Arsenal a rival in terms of trying to get out of the current trouble, he said: “If they are currently in the top eight, yes, absolutely.
“They have won only one in the last 10 or so, and it seems that their great results have arrived in the European League. And of course we will be beaten again last night, even though he is not in the league, as is the case with our players, he draws the confidence of the Arsenal players, of course he will.
“Because they will wonder what hit them, why they are down there and what they will need to get out of that position.
“I know what it takes, I hope I can convince the players to respond to what I say it takes to get out of it, and I hope we can press Arsenal when they play because they lack confidence and try to beat them – or whatever when in the eighth. “
He added: “(Arsenal boss) Mikel Arteta wouldn’t think he would be in that position at the moment, but he seems to have a strong character, he doesn’t seem to deviate from his beliefs – which is what we all have to do.”
As for matches against teams from 13th onwards, Allardyce said: “The total number of points should be collected against eight, more than anywhere else.
“If we finish at the top eight teams, then we won’t be eliminated, I don’t think we can – if we can beat or draw them, and we certainly won’t lose to any of them, and we finish at the top of that table, we will almost guarantee our safety. “
West Brom were defeated 3-0 at home by Aston Villa on Sunday in their first game since bringing in Allardyce as the successor to sacked Slaven Bilic, playing with 10 men after the exclusion of skipper Jake Livermore in the first half.
Allardyce, who has led seven other clubs in the front row, said: “I think the position we are in and the fact how many points we have with the games played make the job as difficult as I have ever been.
“The only way to overcome that is obviously for these players to play better at the moment, to be more organized and consistent in their way of playing, in order to get points on the board as quickly as possible, and then at the end of this month, the window will be open.
“I think trading in January could be a crucial part of whether we can stay in the league or not.”