This afternoon West Ham will be playing to fellow Londoners, Arsenal. This will be the first time that the two sides have met since West Ham’s relegation 2 years ago. In that season the Hammers beat the Gunners once but also lost to them. The win was away at the Emirates but the loss was where the game is due to be played today, The Boleyn Ground.
Admittedly Arsenal probably had a stronger side back then with the likes of Fabregas and Van Persie still there at the time. But by no means does this mean that today’s game will be an easy one. This game will definately be West Ham biggest test since being back in the big time but we do still have a chance. This is because we have got off to a strong start to the season sitting 7th in the league, so confidence will be running high. We are also at home where we have not lost one game. However there is a lot that rides on this game as Arsenal sit in 8th place and we could lose our current position if we lose. Arsenal have conceded less goals than us, although it is only 1. They have also scored more goals than us, something which we seem to struggle to do especially from our forwards. This season our forwards seem incapable of scoring with most of the goals coming from Kevin Nolan (3). The only striker that has scored this season is Vaz Te however with only one goal, the only other goal that has been scored is from new boy Matt Jarvis. In my opinion though I think it is only a matter of time before Andy Carroll, scores and I believe he could be our hero today at Upton Park.
Sam Allardyce has got only a few injury concerns to worry about. Injury concerns for the Hammers are, Jack Collison (knee), Joey O’Brien and Winston Reid who were taken off during the QPR game are unlikely to feature. Alou Diarra has also become injured today and David Gold doesn’t expect him to be back before Christmas. Andy Carroll could start for the Hammers today. Arsenal injury worries include Bacary Sagna (leg), Jack Wilshere (ankle), Emmanuel Frimpong (knee), Abou Diaby (thigh) and Wojciech Szczesny (ankle). This could mean that Arsenal could be easier to rip apart at the back with their first choice keeper and Sagna missing.
So do I think that West Ham can beat Arsenal, well I fancy our chances. We have got off to a good start to the season and Sam Allardyce has a good record against Arsenal as well. I also think that if we were able to beat Arsenal two seasons ago with a weaker squad than we do now, then we are able to beat them today. However I don’t want to get too excited so I’m going to predict a draw.
Likely line-up: Jussi, Demel, Collins, Tomkins, Taylor, Jarvis, Diame, Noble, Nolan, Vaz Te, Carroll