Arsenal will face a tough this evening. We take on newly promoted West Ham who find themselves two points ahead of us heading into the game. Not a stat I like to think about given how dangerous a team can be after they’ve reentered the League, expanding with confidence. A bad first half performance by the Gunners’ against Olympiakos won’t do anything to appease my nerves but I’m hoping that we settle into the match fast and take the reins shortly after.
On paper, the Hammers shouldn’t cause us too many problems but I suppose the joys of this League are that any team can beat anyone. Starting with defense, I don’t see Gibbs or Jenkinson changing but central defense is a whole other story. In fairness both Vermaelen and Koscielny have been below par in the last two games. Koscielny could be blamed for both of Chelsea’s goals whilst Vermaelen committed both fouls which led to Chelsea scoring in the first place. Mertesacker will be available for selection but I don’t think Vermaelen will get the drop.
In the midfield, another injury blow to French international Abou Diaby forces Arsene Wenger to make some changes. Mikel Arteta sustained an ankle injury against Olympiakos but he should be back to full fitness come Saturday. The Ox hasn’t really impressed me this season but should still get the nod ahead of Walcott. Aaron Ramsey has started to improve this season so I expect him to start.
Don’t expect Giroud to start the match unless Wenger decides to give the French striker another chance. Gervinho would be my man for this game. The Ivorian looks sharp in front of goal, netting five for us already this season.
England international Andy Carroll could get the start on Saturday, as Allardyce will be looking to cause problems for our defensive line. That’s really the biggest threat I see from West Ham. Carroll loves the high ball so expect lots of crosses into the box and long looping efforts down the middle pitch. Bould should of worked on our set pieces but expect the Hammers to put that theory to the test on Saturday.
It goes without say that we need the three points tomorrow. Anything less and it’ll be ahuge upset. Up the Gunners!
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