There’s another big London derby on tap again this weekend as West Ham United hosts Arsenal at the Olympic Stadium on Saturday, December 3rd. The Hammers played to a 1-1 road draw at Old Trafford in league action last weekend. They then returned to the same stadium on Wednesday in an English league Cup quarterfinal clash and were beaten 4-1. The Gunners downed Bournemouth 3-1 at home at the Emirates in league play last week and then hosted Southampton in another League Cup quarterfinal on Wednesday and came out on the wrong end of a 2-0 decision.
West Ham United vs Arsenal – Pinnacle Soccer Betting Line:
- Pinnacle currently lists Arsenal as the favorites to win the game at -126 with West Ham +366 and a draw at +303
West Ham United vs Arsenal – Head to Head:
- These two clubs met twice in league action last season with West Ham winning 2-0 away in August and then drawing 3-3 at home in April. Overall, these two sides have met 133 times in the past with Arsenal winning 64, losing 34 and drawing the other 38. Arsenal has just the lone win in the last 18 games along with three draws and 14 defeats. Prior to last season, Arsenal had won 10 in a row and 13 of 15 meetings. West Ham’s last home victory over Arsenal was 1-0 in November of 2006 in Premier League action.
West Ham United – A Closer Look:
The Hammers enter the weekend in 16th place in the 20-team league with just 12 points from three wins, three draws and seven defeats. They’ve scored just 14 goals and have allowed 24 against. They’re still just one point ahead of newly-promoted Hull City and the last relegation spot and are 19 points adrift of the league leaders Chelsea. Manager Slaven Bilic’s job could be hanging by as thread at this juncture and injury problems definitely haven’t helped.
On the bright side, defender Winston Reid returns from suspension for this match though. However, Defender Reece Oxford is out until sometime in January and fellow defender Arthur Masuaku isn’t expected back until early December. In addition, midfielder Gokhan Tore is still a week or two away and defender Sam Byram is back in training, but is questionable. There’s a chance that English striker Andy Carroll could return to the lineup on Saturday though.
Arsenal – A Closer Look:
The Gunners are still one of the Premier League’s hottest teams and occupy fourth place in the standings. They have 28 points on the season from eight wins, four draws and a lone defeat, which came at the hands of Liverpool 4-3 at home in the season opener. Arsenal has scored 28 goals and allowed 13 against after 13 contests. They sit just two points behind both Liverpool and Manchester City and are still three points back of league-leading Chelsea. They now have a four-point gap over fifth-place Tottenham Hotspur following last weekend’s results.
Arsenal’s recent 18-game undefeated string in all competitions ended at 11 wins and seven draws on Wednesday when manager Arsene Wenger foolishly fielded a sub-par squad against Southampton in the League Cup. Wenger also has some injury problems as usual as midfielder Santi Cazorla and is questionable while forwards Lucas Pérez, Chuba Akpom and Danny Welbeck aren’t expected back until later in November at the earliest. In addition, defender Per Mertesacker is out with a long-term injury and could miss the rest of the season. Defender Hector Bellerin is also expected to miss the contest and won’t be back until mid-December.
West Ham United vs Arsenal – Takeaway:
This is another important London derby as Arsenal needs points to stay within reach of Chelsea, Man City and Liverpool and keep the lead over Tottenham. West Ham can’t afford to drop many more points or they’ll soon find themselves in the relegation zone.
By Ian S. Palmer