Arsenal vs. West Ham
English Premier League
Saturday, March 14, 2015
8AM PT/11AM ET/3PM BT
Emirates Stadium, London
League Form: ARS Hüsker Dü | WHU Candlebox
US TV: NBCSN | Worldwide TV info livesoccer.tv
Sort of a short turnaround this week, after Arsenal's quarterfinal win on Monday, but the nice thing is they don't have to go anywhere. West Ham come to the Emirates very much the Club In Injury Crisis, which, take that lazy sports narrative! Their most hilarious injury is of course Enner Valencia, who cut his toe open on a broken teacup at his house. By "hilarious", of course, I mean "ow that had to really fucking hurt". While I never really wish anyone to be injured, I do find it kinda entertaining when highly fit, super-trained athletes suffer non-athlete-person dumb injuries like you or I would (See Jeff Kent and his "truck").
But that's not their only problem. James Tomkins dislocated his shoulder in training yesterday, which sees him join Winston Reid, Carlton Cole, Andy Carroll, and Valencia on the sidelines for tomorrow, with Carl Jenkinson joining them as not eligible for this fixture as a clause of his loan. When you combine that injury list with the fact that West Ham haven't won in the league since mid-January, well, things don't look good for West Ham, do they? I don't think they'll get relegated, but they're definitely reeling right now.
For Arsenal, of course, Ox is out with a hamstring tear, but otherwise all the usual suspects should be available. Confidence is high in the Arsenal camp at the moment, and don't look now but Arsenal are only four points behind City, and even despite Arsenal's own injury issues, look as well poised as anyone to take that second place spot from City.
For all the frustrations we all felt in September and October, this is a different team now, at least in the league; they're poised, they're confident, and they have their sights set on second place, which is where I thought they'd finish back in August. Hopefully they'll take one more step towards proving me right tomorrow.