Arsenal vs West Ham Preview, Team News, Line-ups & Predicted Score
Arsenal welcome West Ham to the Emirates tonight looking to close the gap on the top-four. Here’s a preview with team news, likely line-ups and predicted score
Arsenal finally play their game in hand tonight as they welcome West Ham to the Emirates looking to close the gap on the top-four.
The original fixture was postponed on Boxing Day due to London underground tube strikes so we’re now playing catch up on the rest.
We head into the game off the back of disappointing back-to-back defeats to Chelsea and Manchester City which has left us sitting seven points off fourth-placed Tottenham, so victory this evening is vital if we’re to maintain our hopes of qualifying for the Champions League next season.
The reverse fixture at Upton Park saw us put in arguably one of our best performances of the season, certainly away from home, as we ran out 3-1 winners. Another display like that tonight and I’d be confident of securing all three points, that’s for sure.
We know what ‘Fat Sam’s’ game-plan will be and he loves nothing more than getting one over Arsene Wenger, but they look an average side to me and we should see then off comfortably if we apply ourselves and attack from the first minute. Not wait until the second half, from the FIRST MINUTE!
The good news is that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Lukas Podolski are available again after missing the Chelsea game through illness. I’d love to see Poldi given a go through the middle. Giroud is unconvincing for me, and while his physical presence may prove important against the Hammers, I think Podolski could be lethal if given a chance up front.
Mikel Arteta and Tomas Rosicky are still out, and Francis Coquelin has joined them after picking up a knock at the weekend. This leaves us a little short in the middle with Arsene hinting he may have to rest Abou Diaby after the Frenchman played four games on the bounce.
The most likely scenario is Aaron Ramsey will start alongside Jack Wilshere, but personally I’d risk Diaby as his presence will certainly be required against the likes of Diame, Nolan and Noble.
West Ham will be without Andy Carroll, George McCartney and James Collins for the game. Marouane Chamakh is ineligible to play against us and Modibo Maiga is away at the Africa Cup of Nations, so Carlton Cole will start up top.
This is the line-up I’d like to see start, but there is virtually no chance Wenger will go with this eleven. I’d expect the boss to play Ramsey instead of Diaby and Giroud in for Podolski, with the German possibly moving out to the wing.
We have an excellent record against West Ham in recent years with the Hammers failing to score in seven of the last nine Premier League matches against us. But our home record has been poor this season so we’ll have to step things up if we’re to finish in the top four, and I think we’ll put ‘Fat Sam’ to the sword tonight. Arsenal 2-0 West Ham
What would your line-up be and what’s your score prediction? Get involved in the comments section below.
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