Sunday, May 26, 2019

Prediction: West Ham vs Arsenal

Verdict: Over three goals

Best Odds: 13/10

Bookmaker: Bet365

The first Premier League match of gameweek 22 brings us a London derby in the east of the city as West Ham host Arsenal.

West Ham

Starting with Saturday’s hosts, after picking up a morale-boosting 2-0 win over Birmingham and booking their spot in the fourth round of the FA Cup last weekend, the Hammers will have one eye on securing European football this season. Now losing just one of their last four matches across all competitions, former Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini will be most impressed by his sides form at the London Stadium. West Ham have lost just one of their last five matches in East London, scoring two or more in four of those outings. While it has been heavily reported that leading goalscorer Marko Arnautović is seeking a move to China this January, the Austrian international is expected to feature for West Ham on Saturday. Since returning from injury at the start of 2019, the 29-year-old now has three goals in his last two appearances. Although the confidence might be high in the Hammers’ camp, Saturday’s hosts do hold a worrying record against Arsenal. They have won just one of their last 21 Premier League matches against the Gunners.

Team News

Samir Nasri is set for his first Premier League appearance since August 2016, after making his West Ham debut in the FA Cup win against Birmingham.

Despite speculation surrounding a move to China, forward Marko Arnautovic is expected to feature.

Fabian Balbuena is out for eight weeks following knee surgery.


As for the visitors, while Arsenal may have managed to pick up a 3-0 win over League One outfit Blackpool last Saturday, many fans around the Emirates are concerned by the Gunners’ recent consistency. Now picking up just one win in their last three Premier League outings, it has been their continued defensive issues that will be giving Unai Emery the biggest headache. Arsenal are yet to record a single clean sheet away from the Emirates this season and are without a win in their last four top-flight matches on the road. Even though there are a string of issues that need resolving at the back, many have been impressed by the new attacking identity that Emery has brought to North London. Arsenal have scored in their last 20 Premier League matches. Although West Ham have one striker enjoying an impressive run of form, Arsenal have their own forward who is having a stellar season. Leading goalscorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored in each of his last four Premier League London derbies, with six goals and two assists in total.

Team News

Mesut Ozil, Laurent Kosciely and Hector Bellerin are among the six Arsenal players available after injuries.

Shkodran Mustafi and Nacho Monreal are also fit and in contention.

Fellow defender Konstantinos Mavropanos has overcome a groin problem.

Key Factors to Consider

  • West Ham have won just one of their last 21 Premier League matches against Arsenal (D4, L16). That sole victory came in August 2015.
  • The Gunners are unbeaten in 11 away matches at West Ham in all competitions since November 2006 (W8, D3).
  • Marko Arnautovic has three goals in his last two matches for The Hammers.
  • West Ham have won five of their past eight league matches.
  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored in each of his last four Premier League London derbies, with six goals and two assists in total.


On paper, this has all the makings of a game that should produce plenty of chances at both ends of the pitch. While both West Ham and Arsenal have shown their strengths in the final third, there are a long list of defensive issues that still need resolving. With neither side now keeping a clean sheet in their last nine combined Premier League matches, we’re backing an abundance of goals at the London Stadium this weekend.

Verdict: Over three goals

Best Odds: 13/10

Bookmaker: Bet365


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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