It’s a big game for the Gunners. With Petr Cech, Arsenal hasn’t yet won a game in which they couldn’t keep a clean sheet since Valentines’ day when they secured a victory over the league leaders Leicester City at the Emirates. The Gunners travel to Upton Park to take on a West Ham United side. West Ham have scored eight goals in the last four games they have played and are still pushing hard for a top-four finish to get a Champions League qualification.
Petr Cech hasn’t played in a while. The Arsenal goalkeeper has been out of action since the Swansea defeat in which he picked up a calf injury. Arsenal have knocked out of the FA Cup and also the UEFA Champions League, currently sitting 11 points behind Leicester in the title race, with a game in hand. Petr Cech is expected to be back in action again but with Dmitri Payet and co lining up against the Gunners on Saturday’s premier league draw at the Upton Park, Petr Cech will be kept very busy and will need to save every shot to keep the Gunners’ dream alive.
Players to watch:
Manuel Lanzini: The Argentinian midfielder has been excellent this season. Lanzini was given his reward last month as the Hammers agreed to make his loan deal a permanent one by the end of this season. Lanzini has shown excellent understanding with the amazing Dimitri Payet in the West Ham midfield and both have contributed some brilliant chances, key passes, key goals throughout the season. Five of West Ham’s last six goals have come from these two. West Ham are determined to do a Premier League double over Arsenal for the first time in a season since the 2006/07 season and with Lanzini and Payet in the brilliant form, they are in currently, there is every chance that they will do just that.
Past meetings and Form guide:
West Ham: WWWDDD
These are the current running forms of the two teams. West Ham are unbeaten in their last 9 matches in all competitions, whereas Arsenal will meet the Hammers with a winning record of 9/10 in the last 10 premier league meetings. But Arsenal have a very poor away record this season. In their last 7 away games, they have won only twice, so that is a matter of concern for the Gunners’ boss. Wenger has lost only twice in 16 visits to the Upton Park in all competitions.
These are the last three meeting between them:
Arsenal 0 West Ham 2 (Kouyate, Zarate), Premier League, August 2015.
Arsenal 3 (Giroud, Ramsey, Flamini) West Ham 0, Premier League, March 2015.
West Ham 1 (Kouyate) Arsenal 2 (Cazorla, Welbeck), Premier League, December 2014.
West Ham stunned the Emirates Stadium when they faced the Gunners on the opening day of the season, an extraordinary Dmitri Payet performance led the Hammers to a deserved win by 2 goals.
The Hammers have recently found a way to play centrally and less wide. The like to wait and lodge counters against the top teams whenever they get the ball, which made them victorious over Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal too.
Arsenal needs to stay composed against the Hammers, 90 minutes of play can result in either way. They need to remain focused to avoid deadly counters and most importantly they will have to wrap the starlet Dimitri Payet.
Arsenal win: 2.00