West Ham vs Arsenal Preview, Team News, Likely Line-Ups, Key Man & Predicted Score
Arsenal make the short trip across London to take on West Ham at Upton Park on Boxing Day looking to regain top spot in the Premier League. Here’s a preview.
Arsenal make the short trip across London to take on West Ham at Upton Park on Boxing Day looking to regain top spot in the Premier League.
After leading the way for much of the season the Gunners dropped to second on goal difference from Liverpool after taking just 2 points from their last three games.
Arsene Wenger’s men were held to a 0-0 draw by rivals Chelsea at the Emirates on Monday night, so will hope to get back to winning ways this Thursday and take advantage of the fact that two of their main rivals – Man City and Liverpool – face each other at the Etihad.
West Ham on the other hand are hovering just above the relegation zone after losing 3-1 to Manchester United at Old Trafford last weekend.
However, Sam Allardyce’s men have a decent home record this season and have kept three clean sheets in their last four matches so will be hoping for more of the same this time around.
The Hammers welcome back Kevin Nolan from suspension and he should take his place back in the starting eleven. Allardyce has confirmed he will play defender James Tomkins despite the fact he was arrested earlier this week for a late night disturbance involving a police officer.
Andy Carroll continues to work his way back to full fitness from a foot injury while Ricardo Vaz Te and Winston Reid are still several weeks from fitness.
Jussi Jaaskelainen could continue on the bench after seemingly losing his place to Spanish stopper Adrian, and Stewart Downing continues to miss out through injury.
Arsene Wenger may decide to reshuffle his team with Sunday’s trip to face Newcastle in the back of his mind. It could mean playing time for the likes of Nacho Monreal, Carl Jenkinson, Mathieu Flamini and Nicklas Bendtner while Olivier Giroud, Mesut Ozil, Bacary Sagna and Kieran Gibbs could get well-earned rests.
Arsenal will have to make-do without the services of Jack Wilshere as he completes a two match ban for swearing at Man City fans.
Laurent Koscielny could return to the side after recovering from a cut knee, although he may be kept in reserve for the trip to face Newcastle on Sunday meaning Thomas Vermaelen could continue alongside Per Mertesacker at the back.
Santi Cazorla: The Spaniard has been in disappointing form in recent weeks but should be restored to the side tomorrow having not featured against Chelsea and the focus will be on him to be the creative hub if Ozil is rested.
West Ham 1-2 Arsenal: The Gunners have the second best away record in the division and we can see them edging this one tomorrow.
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