West Ham host Arsenal in the English Premier League on Sunday. The Hammers are winless in six matches since winning 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium in late December. The Gunners have won three successive league games and are just two points off the summit.
West Ham Form
The Hammers are winless in five matches now having been on a top run before: nine wins in 12 matches in all competitions. They beat Man Utd 2-0 at home and then won 2-0 at Arsenal to look like possible top-four contenders. They’ve drawn four of their last five matches and exited the FA Cup.
A 0-0 home draw vs Brighton preceded a 1-1 FA Cup draw at home with Bristol City. West Ham lost 1-0 away in the replay. Their last two league matches have been draws, a 2-2 at Sheffield United and a 1-1 home point against Bournemouth. They conceded in the last minute against the Blades.
West Ham Team News
Alphonse Areola should shake off a knock to the head to start in goal for West Ham. Michail Antonio is still injured up front so Jarrod Bowen will lead the line.
Lucas Paqueta has a calf injury and is unlikely to be fit enough to feature in this clash. Said Benrahma and Pablo Fornals both departed the club in the January transfer window.
West Ham Motivation
Moyes won’t care one jot about possession in this match. I expect his team to play like the away side.
A draw would be a decent result but West Ham will play to frustrate Arsenal and win the match. Their low block yielded three points in the reverse fixture in late December.
The Gunners looked to be falling out of the title race after a poor run of results. It was four losses in seven in all competitions including a 2-0 home loss to West Ham and a deserved 2-1 defeat at Fulham. A 2-0 FA Cup loss followed at home to Liverpool.
They’ve since won three league matches in a row to close the gap to the summit to just two points. They beat Crystal Palace 5-0 and won 2-1 at Nottingham Forest as a late goal conceded made things nervier. Last Sunday, they beat Liverpool 3-1 at home as they preyed on errors and took advantage of a red card.
Arsenal Team News
Jurrien Timber remains out injured despite being added to Arsenal’s Champions League squad. Thomas Partey is out injured but Takehiro Tomiyasu is back from the Asia Cup.
This match comes too soon for Fabio Vieira in midfield. Oleksandr Zinchenko is doubtful and both Gabriel Jesus and Bukayo Saka will need late fitness tests. The latter should shake off a knock to start.
Arsenal will see a draw as being like a defeat in this one. They have to go all out to take the three points.
Mikel Arteta will expect to have 70% of the ball and will be focused on solutions to break down a low block and stop counter-attacks.
West Ham are winless in 6 matches (4 draws) in all competitions
West Ham are unbeaten in six home league matches (WDWWDD)
WHU have seen over 2.5 goals in 13 of 15 home matches vs Arsenal (all competitions)
Arsenal have won their last 3 EPL matches
Arsenal have lost 2 of their last 4 away matches in the league
This fixture tends to have goals. West Ham are capable of being a real banana skin for the Gunners in this match. Arsenal could grind out a win, but a draw is quite possible here too.