Arsenal host West Ham United at the Emirates in what will be the first of Arsene Wenger’s last two Premier League home games in charge as the Club’s manager.
Arsene Wenger will be hoping Arsenal continue their recent good form at the Emirates when they face West Ham today. After announcing his intention to step down as Arsenal’s manager at the end of the season, this would be the first of the two home games he will be in charge in the Premier League.
Arsenal are to face Atletico Madrid later this week at the Emirates, but after that Wenger will take charge of his final home game against Burnley before he leaves the club in the summer. Arsenal and its players will be hoping for a positive sendoff for their legendary manager, starting with a win over the Hammers.
Regarding team news, Arsenal have a few injury problems as well as the heavyweight Europa League semi-final clash to look forward to, meaning Wenger is set to rest a few key players for this clash. Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Jack Wilshere are unavailable for the West Ham clash as they are still recovering from respective injuries.
Wenger is likely to rest key defensive personnel, as he bids to keep them fresh for the Atletico Madrid clash in midweek. Apart from those who will likely miss the West Ham clash, Aaron Ramsey has returned to the squad and will probably start against the Hammers.
Petr Cech is likely to start between the post, as he has done all season as Arsenal’s preferred no.1 this season. David Ospina is back in the squad after his recent injury but will play second fiddle to Cech, although it will be interesting to see if he starts against Atletico Madrid in midweek.
Hector Bellerin could return to the squad after Chambers played at right-back against Newcastle United last weekend, but Laurent Koscielny could be rested, along with Nacho Monreal, as Wenger bids to keep them fresh for the Europa League semi-final clash.
That effectively means, Shkodran Mustafi and Rob Holding will be Arsenal’s central defenders and Sead Kolasinac could come in place for Monreal, and get some valuable game time.
In midfield, Aaron Ramsey could return to the side, after recovering from the cut he sustained against CSKA Moscow. Wenger confirmed his availability against West Ham in his team updates, saying “He has not participated in full training, but he’s practising in non-contact so that he will be available for Sunday.”
Wenger could opt for a 4-3-3 formation, which would see Granit Xhaka and Mohamed Elneny partner the Welshman in central midfield. On Wilshere reported absence, Wenger confirmed his injury, but suggested it was a minor one, saying, “It’s a short-term one, a little ankle problem.”
The front three could comprise of Danny Welbeck who started from the bench against Newcastle despite his brilliant performance against CSKA Moscow before that game. Mesut Ozil is also likely to return to the team and Aubameyang could start as Arsenal’s central striker. LAcazette could start from the bench as Wenger would want him at a 100% against Atletico Madrid in midweek.