David Moyes and his West Ham United side will be eager to win their second London derby in a row as they prepare to host Arsenal on Wednesday.
David Moyes registered his first win as West Ham manager in terrific fashion, with a 1-0 win over defending champions Chelsea over the weekend. And the Scot will now be pumped for the next London giant – Arsenal, as the midweek Premier League matchday takes shape.
Arsenal were held to a frustrating and toothless 1-1 draw against Southampton during the weekend in a performance that many labelled as shambolic. Olivier Giroud saved Wenger the blushes against a struggling Saints side but they must now recover in time to face a West Ham team that will be high on confidence after their latest triumph.
A win for West Ham could see them rise above the relegation zone – something that all the Hammers’ faithfuls will be delighted to see. Arsenal though, will not want to lose sight of the chasing pack, with the Gunners currently poised at sixth on the table, six points behind second-placed Manchester United.
Ahead of the London derby, we take a closer look at the two sides.
Team News & Tactics
West Ham United
Ideally, David Moyes should stick to the same eleven that earned a shock 1-0 win over Chelsea. However, Andy Carroll and Javier Hernandez will both be pushing for starts and either of them could earn one if Moyes does decide to rotate, especially with the high-pressing and labour-intensive game that his team played out against Chelsea.
Sam Byram, Jose Fonte and James Collins all remain sidelined, which does narrow down the manager’s choice for the defence while Cheikhou Kouyate is nearing full-fitness and could find himself on the bench for the Wednesday fixture.
One of the main decisions taken by Moyes has been the reinstatement of Adrian in goal, with Joe Hart being relegated to playing the role of a backup. Arthur Masuaku and Pablo Zabaleta have been the focal points of attack, with the two wing-backs the main outlets on the wing for Moyes.
The Scot deploys a wing-heavy tactic and the form of Masuaku and Zabaleta certainly adds more sting to the attack. The 3-4-2-1 formation seems to bringing out the best of club record signing Marko Arnautovic, with the player scoring the winning goal against Chelsea.
It will be interesting to see how the creative duo of Lanzini and Arnautovic is able to create and provide for the Hammers.
Probable Lineup (3-4-2-1): Adrian; Reid, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Zabaleta, Obiang, Noble, Masuaku; Lanzini, Arnautovic; Hernandez
Per Mertesacker’s poor showing against Southampton has increased the selection headache for Arsene Wenger, with Shkodran Mustafi unlikely to be fit in time for the West Ham tie. The Frenchman though, could deploy Rob Holding in Mertesacker’s stead on Wednesday.
There is some mixed news for Arsenal fans, with Aaron Ramsey set to be sidelined for a considerable period of time due to an injury suffered in the 1-1 draw agains Southampton. However, the injury could now pave the way for Jack Wilshere to finally start a Premier League tie, something that has been demanded by Arsenal fans for a while now.
Olivier Giroud’s late equalizer could earn him a start on Wednesday, with Alexandre Lacazette likely to be rested by Wenger, who could change the entire front three, bringing in Alex Iwobi and Danny Welbeck as well.
Probable Lineup (3-4-2-1): Cech; Holding, Koscielny, Monreal; Bellerin, Wilshere, Xhaka, Kolasinac; Welbeck, Sanchez; Giroud
1. West Ham Asian Handicap +1.0 @ 1.810
2. Over 9.5 Corners @ 1.83
1. Full Time Result – Draw @ 4.20
1. West Ham have won just 1 of the last 18 Premier League meetings against Arsenal, with the win coming at Emirates in August, 2015.
2. Arsenal have conceded 32 away goals in 2017. Only West Ham (35), Stoke and Watford (33 each) have let in more.
3. This game will be West Ham’s 100th London derby, with the Hammers not boasting a great record in them so far (W36 D22 L41)
4. West Ham have scored in each of the last 5 home games in the league against Arsenal, as have the Gunners.
5. There have been a total of 23 goals in the last 5 games between West Ham and Arsenal played at West Ham’s home.
Player to Watch
The custodian has impressed after being reinstated in goal. And with a new manager at helm, he could displace Joe Hart permanently as first-choice for West Ham, if he continues to give in commendable performances. Against Arsenal, he will be immense again if the Hammers are to secure a win.
West Ham United 1-1 Arsenal
Arsenal might be able to eke out a win but that is what we expect to happen on Wednesday. The Hammers are high on confidence and will pose a major threat to the Gunners, who could get caught unaware if Wenger does decide to rotate his squad, especially the front three.
We expect both the teams to get on the scoresheet and Arsenal’s need to win to cancel out West Ham’s confidence.