The Gunners had the week off to recover from last weekend’s fixture and get one of their injured players back heading into Sunday. Manchester City will play first as they host a free-falling Leicester City. 538 has City’s chances of winning at 85%, and even that seems low. So picking up points over them this weekend will be difficult, but the most important part is that Arsenal put away a West Ham team they may have one eye looking at their week following this match.
Arsenal has had a terrific record against West Ham over the past 15 years. In the last seven matches, the Gunners have six wins and a draw (away). But going all the way back to the start of the 2007-08 season, Arsenal has lost just twice in 31 matches against West Ham. And they’ve done a great job of limiting the Hammers’ attack (outside of the 3-3 draw two years ago), with Arsenal holding them to one or zero goals since 2016. The defense will be looking to add to that record after last week’s issues against Liverpool.
Q&A with the Opposition: 5 questions with The West Ham Way
- Leandro Trossard
- Eddie Nketiah
- Reiss Nelson
- Fabio Vieira
- Emile Smith Rowe
- Kieran Tierney
- Jakub Kiwior
- Matt Turner
- Left Out: William Saliba (injury), Takehiro Tomiyasu (injury), & Mohamed Elneny (injury)
- In the pre-match press conference, Mikel Arteta provided an update on William Saliba’s recovery process, “William [Saliba] is still not available. He’s progressing well and we are hopeful we’ll have him available in the next few weeks, but we’ll have to see. He’s not far from starting to do that [back on grass]. Obviously, we need to be cautious because of the injury, but he’s evolving well.” Based on that it sounds like Saliba would be unlikely to appear in the Southampton match on Friday either. However, there are still 12 days until the trip to Manchester City, so fingers crossed he can factor in for that colossal game.
- Arteta did state that Eddie Nketiah is “back and is fully fit now” so look for him on the bench Sunday with Ruell Walters making way. His return gives Arsenal their full attacking depth.
- Otherwise, expect much of the same in the starting XI. The squad opened the game at Liverpool well and looked in control 2-0 before getting caught up in a more physical and emotional battle which played into the hosts' hands.
- Jesus has three goals in the last two matches and I fully expect him to threaten West Ham’s defense all match long with Saka and Martinelli causing havoc out wide. While the defense will need to improve before the showdown with City it’s just as important that the attack is in peak form.
- Hopefully, Sunday is a positive match for both Rob Holding and Oleksandr Zinchenko after a pair of difficult moments in the Liverpool fixture. The more time for Gabriel and Holding together the better considering Saliba’s return to start against Man City looks doubtful at the moment.
How to watch
Sunday (4/16) at 9:00 am ET / 6:00 am PT on the USA Network.
Arsenal - 3
West Ham- 0
Sitting in 14th, with Bournemouth coming up after Arsenal in the Premier League and an important Europa Conference League second leg next week, West Ham could easily shift their focus away from this match and on to those games. Mikel Arteta will be looking for a strong start and a response from last week’s result and lack of control in the second half. The Gunners get back on track and take three points.