Arsenal face West Ham in the English Premier League on Thursday. This match pits the log leaders against the sixth-placed Hammers. The Gunners have won their last eight home matches against West Ham and will look to avenge a 3-1 Carabao Cup loss in November.
The Gunners top the table after 18 rounds with a one-point lead over the teams below them. They went on a six-match winning streak with 18 goals scored. After thrashing Lens 6-0 on matchday five of the Champions League, they beat Wolves 2-1 at home and scored very late to win 4-3 at Luton Town.
Their last four fixtures have brought just one win. After missing chances in a 1-0 loss at Aston Villa, they drew 1-1 at PSV in a dead rubber. A 2-0 win at home against Brighton saw a fine performance as they only allowed one shot on target. On Saturday, they drew 1-1 against Liverpool at Anfield.
Arsenal Team News
Versatile defender Jurrien Timber is out long-term. Mikel Arteta is a bit short in midfield with Thomas Partey and Fabio Vieira injured and Kai Havertz is ruled out due to suspension. Either Jorgino, Leandro Trossard, or Emile Smith Rowe will take his place.
Takehiro Tomiyasu is injured at right back and Oleksandr Zinchenko had some defensive issues against Liverpool. Jakub Kiwior could come in at left back to deal with the in-form Mohammed Kudus and Jarrod Bowen.
Arsenal will go all out to win this match and to keep hold of top spot in the table.
A draw will feel like a defeat and they won’t settle for one at one point. The Gunners could have up to 70% possession in this match and will need to guard against counters.
West Ham Form
The Hammers are largely in very good form and have jumped to sixth in the table. They have won five of their last seven league matches with just two blips in this streak in all competitions. A 2-1 win at Tottenham saw a very strong comeback. They surprisingly went to Fulham and were thrashed 5-0.
Moyes arrested any possible complacency as they beat Freiburg 2-0 to top their Europa League group. A 3-0 thrashing of Wolves followed at home. They rested players and took their foot off the gas in a 5-1 Carabao Cup humbling at Liverpool. On Saturday, they were back to their best and cruised 2-0 past Man Utd at home. They only allowed the Red Devils three shots on target.
West Ham Team News
David Moyes still can’t call upon striker Michail Antonio in attack. Jarrod Bowen will lead the line as he looks to improve on his 11 league goals so far. Nayef Aguerd is a doubt due to illness and has missed the last two fixtures. Max Cornet is also a question mark as he is ill.
Konstantinos Mavropanos is on standby to cover for Aguerd. The rest of the XI is almost certain to be unchanged from the victory over Man Utd.
West Ham Motivation
Moyes has overseen wins against Tottenham and Man Utd in recent weeks and knows how to approach these big games.
His side won’t have much possession but will be dangerous on set plays and transition moments. A draw would be seen as a very good result on the road here.
Arsenal have won 7 and drawn 2 of their 9 home EPL matches this term
Arsenal have won their last 8 home matches vs West Ham
Arsenal’s Saka has scored in 4 of 9 home EPL matches in 2023/24
West Ham have won 5 of their last 7 league matches
West Ham have 4 wins and 4 losses in 9 away EPL matches this season (1 draw)
West Ham have the 2nd-worst away defensive record (20 conceded in 9 matches)
This is likely to be a very close match. West Ham may make life difficult for Arsenal, but the Gunners should just about have enough to eke out the three points by a slim margin.