After stealing a point on Sunday against Southampton, Arsenal make the short trip to the London Stadium tomorrow to face West Ham United, who are fresh off a 1-0 win over Chelsea, their best victory in what has been a disappointing season so far.
Arsene Wenger confirmed today the hamstring injury Aaron Ramsey suffered late in the match against Southampton will keep the midfielder out for tomorrow, though fortunately, the injury doesn’t appear to be too serious. Ramsey has had a tremendous season, and Arsenal can ill afford to have him out for long, especially with the current fixture congestion. Hopefully he’s back in time for the clash with Liverpool on the 22nd. Though Jack Wilshere is the most natural replacement for Ramsey, it would not be surprising to see Wenger opt for Francis Coquelin in the name of defensive stability away from home. Mohamed Elneny could also provide a bit more balance and control with possession.
Shkodran Mustafi will also miss tomorrow, though he should be back for Saturday’s match against Newcastle United. Per Mertesacker struggled in his placeagainst Southampton and was taken off in the 64th minute as Arsenal shifted to a back four down a goal. Despite that, I expect Mertesacker to play, though it would be fun to see Calum Chambers or Rob Holding get an opportunity.
Although West Ham are currently tied for 17th place with 13 points, things have been looking up recently under new manager David Moyes, who took over in November. The win over Chelsea was a legitimately strong defensive performance, and was West Ham’s first Premier League win since September 30th.
West Ham scored early and held on. THIS is what you'd expect from a match that has score effects (lots of lower quality chances for team chasing) pic.twitter.com/HLeRNN3zEE— Scott Willis (@oh_that_crab) December 9, 2017
Prior to the match against Chelsea, West Ham played an excellent first 45 minutes at Manchester City before falling victim to a second-half onslaught.
West Ham's first half was seriously good. But they could not find a way to stop or properly counter the 424 avalanche in the second half. pic.twitter.com/gEmgUvRNST— Caley Graphics (@Caley_graphics) December 3, 2017
According to Moyes’ pre-match press conference, West Ham picked up no injuries this weekend, meaning the lineups for tomorrow should look something like this:
Arsenal: Cech, Bellerin, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Monreal, Kolasinac, Xhaka, Coquelin, Ozil, Alexis, Lacazette
West Ham: Adrian, Zabaleta, Reid, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Noble, Obiang, Arnautovic, Lanzini, Masuaku, Antonio
Andy Carroll and Chicharito, two strikers Arsenal fans are quite familiar with, are still working their way back from injury but were on the bench against Chelsea, so we might see them at some point tomorrow.
WHAT: Arsenal at West Ham
WHEN: Wednesday, December 13th 12 PM PT | 3 PM ET | 8 PM BT
WHERE: London Stadium
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