Arsenal and West Ham take each other on this weekend in what could be a feisty all London tie between the two clubs.
Arsenal at the Emirates look a sure bet to gain three points against a West Ham side that find themselves flirting with relegation. The Gunners have won their last five Premier League outings and beginning to look like they could make a late run towards the title. West Ham on the other hand have lost their last three outings and a fourth on Saturday is more than likely.
West Ham can take heart though if they adopt a similar approach to Everton when they drew 2-2 at the Emirates. Everton didn’t sit back and put ten men behind they ball. David Moyes trusted the players he had and enabled them to break forward at the right opportunity. It has been evident this season that Arsenal are vulnerable to a quick counter attack. They push on high up the pitch and with the legs of Sol Campbell just about to give way a quick outlet to Carlton Cole’s battering ram could give them some joy.
Furthermore if West Ham are to gain something against Arsenal they must use set pieces to good effect. This is another of Arsenal’s weaknesses that is still to be properly addressed by manager Arsene Wenger. Corners and free kicks around the box could give some joy to the East Enders.
This will all be meaningless if Arsenal are in the mood. Cesc Fabregas is back after a two week lay off with a hamstring injury and will be key in Arsenal’s drive towards Premier League glory. Additionally Nicklas Bendtner seems to be hitting form exactly when Arsenal needs him. This is seemingly more a case of by how many than by who wins.
West Ham are just two places above the relegation zone and a hefty defeat could leave them just one place above. Manager Gianfranco Zola is going to get a rough 90 minutes at the Emirates. With Arsenal now sniffing blood at Stamford Bridge, they know this is crunch time in terms of their title challenge. I can’t see Arsenal throwing it away against a West Ham side devoid of confidence at the Emirates.
Prediction: Arsenal 3-0 West Ham.
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