Friday, October 23, 2020

Prediction: Arsenal vs West Ham

Verdict: Arsenal half-time/full-time

Best Odds: 13/10

Bookmaker: Unibet

Looking to make it two in two this weekend, Arsenal will welcome London rivals West Ham to an empty Emirates on Saturday night.

Arsenal

Starting with the hosts, really enjoying what was a domestic silverware sweep over the summer, Arsenal couldn’t have wished for a better return to Premier League action last weekend. Really laying down an early marker and picking up what turned out to be a routine 3-0 win away at top-flight returners Fulham seven days ago, many have praised the immediate impact that Mikel Arteta has had in North London. Still boosted after lifting both the FA Cup and the Community Shield thanks to victories over Chelsea and Liverpool at Wembley last month, the mood in the Gunners’ camp appears to be at a real high. Along with debutants Gabriel and Willian enjoying eye-catching first run-outs at Craven Cottage last weekend, Arsenal also have one leading marksman who has continued to shine since returning from football’s enforced break. Signing a new three-year deal with the Gunners, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang opened his account against Fulham and has now found the net in his last four competitive matchups for Saturday’s hosts, recording six strikes.

Team News

Arsenal remain without Shkodran Mustafi, Pablo Mari, David Luiz, Calum Chambers and Gabriel Martinelli.

West Ham

As for the visitors, while the mood in North London appears to be at a recent high, the same cannot be said for a West Ham side who are still in the midst of what looks like a growing crisis. While David Moyes’ men might have managed to come past League One outfit Charlton in the EFL Cup thanks to a 3-0 victory at the London Stadium, they drastically struggled when opening the 2020/2021 Premier League campaign in the capital last weekend. Putting in what was an extremely sluggish display on home soil, the former Manchester United boss saw his side hit with a 2-0 defeat against Newcastle and many have them tipped to be at the heart of a relegation scrap once again this year. With an unenviable fixture list over the past six weeks, West Ham could also be concerned by their recent record against the Gunners. Including back-to-back 1-0 and 3-1 losses when the two sides faced off last season, the Hammers have now lost six of their last seven contests against the Champions League hopefuls.

Team News

After bagging a brace in their 3-0 win against Charlton in midweek, record signing Sébastien Haller could be set to lead the line for West Ham this weekend.

Elsewhere, after settling for a place on the bench on Tuesday night, January signing Jarrod Bowen is set to make a return to David Moyes’ starting XI.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Including back-to-back victories when the two sides faced off last season, Arsenal have won six of their last seven matchups against Saturday’s guests.
  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has now found the net in his last four competitive matchups for the Gunners, recording six strikes.
  • West Ham managed to win just one of their final 10 Premier League away fixtures last season.
  • The Hammers have also now managed to record a single clean sheet in any of their last 19 matchups continuing on from last season.
  • Six of the last nine contests between Arsenal and West Ham in North London have seen over 2.5 goals by the final whistle.

Conclusion

While West Ham might have picked up a morale boost in midweek, it is hard to see anything other than another tough night’s work for the Hammers. With Arsenal opening up the new campaign in thumping fashion, the mood in their camp appears to be at a real high thanks to what turned out to be a 3-0 romp at Craven Cottage last weekend. With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang enjoying a stunning summer purple patch and also opening his 2020/2021 account in West London last time out, Mikel Arteta’s men will also be boosted by what is a dominant record against Saturday’s guests. Winning six of their last seven meetings against West Ham, including back-to-back victories last season, we’re backing a similar outcome this week.

Verdict: Arsenal half-time/full-time

Best Odds: 13/10

Bookmaker: Unibet

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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