West Ham United and Arsenal FC lock horns in a high octane London Derby at the Boelyn ground to kick off the match day 33 of English Premier League on Saturday afternoon, 9th April 2016.
The outcome of this match is highly significant for both clubs as none of them want to drop any points for different reasons. Arsenal and West Ham are separated by 7 points at the start of the match and the Gunners will be desperate for full points to keep their title hopes alive and West Ham would want to put further pressure on two Manchester clubs for a spot in the top four.
West Ham are undefeated in the last 13 home matches in Premier League, with 7 wins and 6 draws. They have kept a clean sheet in 4 of their last 5 home games.
The Hammers are undefeated in their last 6 league matches irrespective of the venue, and their last 2 matches in the league ended in draw. Their last three matches have seen over 3.5 goals and have scored and conceded at least 2 goals in each of the last three matches.
Arsenal have won their last two league games by keeping a clean sheet, starting off with the draw against Tottenham, they are undefeated in the last 3. Arsene Wenger’s team have scored a minimum of 2 goals in 6 of their last 7 Premier League matches.
The Gunners have won 2, lost 1 and drawn 1 from their last 4 away games.
West Ham: Team News
James Collins and Sam Byram are the players out with injury for West Ham and head-coach Slaven Bilic has a full strength squad at his disposal.
Cheikhou Kouyate’s suspension in the in the 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace was overturned and he could start here alongside the brilliant Mark Noble in the center mid-field.
Enner Valencia could replace Emmanuel Emenike and this is the only change expected from the side that started in the previous match.
West Ham: Expected Starting Line-up (4-2-3-1)
Adrain – Antonio, Cresswell, Reid, Ogbonna – Kouyate, Noble – Payet, Lanzini, Valencia – Sakho.
Arsenal: Team News
Santi Cazorla, Alex Oxlade Chamberlain, Mikel Arteta, Aaron Ramsey, Mathieu Flamini, Jack Wilshere and Tomas Rosicky are sidelined of the Gunners due to respective injuries.
Petr Cech has recovered from his injury and is expected to start here, with young sensation Alex Iwobi set for his third straight start in the Premier League.
Arsenal: Expected Starting Line-up (4-2-3-1)
Cech – Monreal, Koscienly, Gabriel, Bellerin – Coquelin, Elneny – Iwobi, Alexis, Ozil – Welbeck.
West Ham vs Arsenal: Head-to-Head Stats
Arsenal have a superior head-to-head record against their London rivals West Ham. The record in the last 16 matches read 13 wins for Arsenal, 2 draws and 1 win for West Ham United.
West Ham were 2-0 winners in the reverse fixture of this season’s clash between the two sides and this marked the end of their 10 match losing streak against Arsenal.
Seven out of the last 8 matches between the two London clubs have witnessed over 2.5 goals.
West Ham vs Arsenal: Prediction
West Ham will be desperate to get back to winning ways after witnessing their Champions League dreams fade following the 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace. Arsenal on the other hand are not expecting anything less than full points to keep the pressure on Tottenham and Leicester in the race for Premier League title. They are coming on the back of consecutive wins and will be very confident to make it three in a row.
It is hard to separate the two teams, despite West Ham’s poor record against Arsenal at home. This season has seen some big upsets and the Hammers will be in a positive mood on Saturday.
A draw is very much on the cards here and expect goals at both ends, which could result in over 2.5 goals easily. We could see some end to end attacking action in a much anticipated London Derby on Saturday afternoon.