Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has dropped a huge hint over who will start up front against West Ham in the Boxing Day clash.
The Premier League is back after being put into deep freeze for the World Cup. And for West Ham it is out of the fridge and into the fire as they face a daunting trip to leaders Arsenal.
For many West Ham fans – and indeed manager David Moyes – the World Cup break came at a good time with the side in rotten form and the dark clouds starting to gather over the London Stadium.
At Arsenal the polar opposite was true with Mikel Arteta’s side flying high and bang in form.
Gunners fans always feared the World Cup break could impact the team’s momentum and posed an injury risk for some of their star men.
West Ham will find out first hand today whether there is anything to suggest the first part is true.
But the latter certainly proved to be the case with star striker Gabriel Jesus ruled out for three months due to an injury sustained playing for Brazil in Qatar.
That was a boost for Moyes, for whom Arsenal are very much his number one bogey side.
In 39 matches as a manager against Arsenal, Moyes has overseen just four wins, nine draws and 26 defeats with a goal difference of -46.
There has been speculation as to who will replace Jesus against the Hammers.
Many Gunners fans remain unconvinced by Eddie Nketiah.
And our man in the know at The Emirates reckons Gabriel Martinelli might be used as a striker in his absence.
But now Arsenal boss Arteta has dropped a huge hint over who will start up front against West Ham in the Boxing Day clash.
It appears Nketiah will get the nod based on comments from the Gunners boss ahead of the game.
“(I have) more faith in him (Nketiah) every single day,” Arteta said (Daily Mail).
“We see every day what he brings to the team, what he is as a human being and the way he is developing as a player.
“‘We got a great response last year when we needed him… he is ready. That is why he signed his contract. He is a key player in our squad.”
Nketiah was heavily linked with a move to West Ham in recent transfer windows before signing that new deal at Arsenal.