West Ham vs Arsenal preview, betting tips and prediction: Gunners face sterner test than predicted at London Stadium

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West Ham got their season back on track with a win against Chelsea on Saturday lunchtime, but they will need a similar blend of defensive organisation, spirit and luck if they are to repeat that success against Arsenal on Wednesday night. David Moyes’ men won for the first time in eight games under the Scot, but crucially, they still find themselves in the bottom three. At the time of writing, Arsenal still need to go to Southampton for their weekend clash, but they are looking good overall. That is despite a recent defeat to Manchester United, ending their unbeaten home record.

The shock result of the weekend came because West Ham were so well organised at the back. They pressed with such precision and confidence and it really made a difference. Eden Hazard and Alvaro Morata, the clear danger men for Chelsea and two players both in form, were shackled and although they did create a few clear chances for themselves, they each failed to take it. It will be a new challenge for Moyes to stop Alexis Sanchez, Alexandre Lacazette and Mesut Ozil, who have combined to create a very big threat for Arsenal in attack which could arguably be even tougher to stop.

Form

Cohesive performances have been a regular occurrence for West Ham in recent weeks, even when the results weren’t. They have shown their quality defensively and are clearly working harder for their manager, but fitness as been a real issue this season. Arsenal won 5-1 in this fixture last season, and West Ham cannot afford to let them have that amount of space again. After eight winless games, the Hammers now have a real understanding of how they need to play in this game to get a result. Arsenal will surely have an answer for that, though.

The Gunners will say David de Gea was all that stopped them from getting a result against Manchester United recently. In an attacking sense, they may be right, but their defence was opened up far too easily early on. West Ham scored after six minutes against Chelsea, and they will view a quick start as imperative in this one. Over the last six games, excluding Southampton, Arsenal have lost two in all competitions and scored 11 in their last two wins, showing just how lethal they can be when they are at the very top of their game.

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Team News

Shkodran Mustafi and Theo Walcott will not make this game, but Arsene Wenger has a strong squad to choose from.

He may view this game as an opportunity to rest some players, with the likes of Olivier Giroud and Alex Iwobi pushing for starts. Jack Wilshere was on the bench at St Mary’s but after a superb display against BATE Borisov in the Europa League, he will be hoping for another opportunity to shine.

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David Moyes could recall either Andy Carroll or Javier Hernandez to his side after Michail Antonio tired himself out leading the line on Saturday. Cheikou Kouyate is a doubt with a hamstring problem, while Joe Hart will likely miss out again after Adrian’s clean sheet.

 

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