- Date & Time: Sunday, February 11 – at 14:00 GMT
- Venue: London Stadium, London
- Teams: West Ham United vs Arsenal
West Ham host Arsenal in big London clash
West Ham United host Arsenal in a fixture where both sides have a lot at stake. The Hammers are well in the mix for a European place while Arsenal are in contention for the title. And it was West Ham who came out on top when the two sides met over Christmas, with a win at the Emirates. To add further spice to this Capital clash, Declan Rice returns to his old club.
West Ham United
West Ham have made great progress over the last couple of seasons under David Moyes. After qualifying for Europe through their league position, they went on to win the Conference League last season. They were underwhelming in the league last season, however, this time round they appear to have got the balance between European and domestic football right and have progressed in the Europa League while keeping in touch with the battle for European places in the league along with a run to the last eight of the EFL Cup. Moyes has used the money from the sale of Rice wisely and the addition of Kalvin Phillips, on loan from Manchester City, will boost their midfield options. Last weekend saw Moyes’ side slip to defeat at OLd Trafford.
Goalkeeper Alphonse Areola handed the gloves over to former Arsenal custodian Lukasz Fabianski for the second half due to a head injury, sustained in a collision with his own central defender, Kurt Zouma. His withdrawal was precautionary and he could well be fit to face the Arsenal. Lucas Paqueta (calf) and Michail Antonio (knee) will, however, both miss out.
During the Christmas and New Year’s football, Arsenal struggled to grind out the results. They were leading the league as the festive pèriod began, however, they are now playing catch up. Arsenal appear to be finding form again and will be desperate to avenge the defeat to West Ham at the Emirates in December. They will go into the game boosted by their excellent win over Liverpool last weekend.
Arsenal saw off Liverpool without Gabriel Jesus, whose knee is again causing him problems. He could potentially return against the Irons. Bukayo Saka should also shake off a knock to the ankle. Oleksandr Zinchenko (calf) came off at half time against Livepool. Takehiro Tomiyasu, back from the Asian Cup, could replace him. Thomas Partey (thigh), Jurrien Timber (ACL) and Fabio Vieira (groin) all remain sidelined. Jorginho and former West Ham star Declan Rice should start in midfield.
A trip to West Ham is not to be taken lightly and Moyes’ side have proved a difficult team to beat. However, the Gunners appear to have come out of the dip they suffered over the Festive period and will be looking to come strong in the run in, in both the Premier League and the Champions League. Given the levels of consistency that Liverpool and Manchester City are capable of, this is a came they probably need to win and one in which they certainly cannot come away empty handed from if they have title aspirations. I think that they will come away with a hard fought victory. Away win.
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