Arsenal v West Ham
Wednesday, January 22, 2013
Emirates Stadium, Islington, London
Kickoff: 2:45 PM ET/19:45 GMT
2013 has been a nightmare start for Arsenal and their fans who are in desperate need of 3 points against West Ham when they host them in another London derby tonight. A frustrating draw at Southampton at New year’s day and the successive defeats at the hands of Manchester City and Chelsea is what Arsenal have managed so far, which means only a single point secured out of the possible 9 points in league.
Adding to the frustration is the FA cup replay against Swansea and thanks to Jack Wilshere the Londoners can still hang on to their cup dreams.
Arsenal Vs West Ham was due to be played on Boxing day but the underground worker’s strike in London means the fixture had to be postponed. If the game had been played on it’s original date things might have been different for the Gunners who were on a three match winning streak and things were looking rosy with all the January window transfer rumours, but almost 20 days later Arsenal find themselves 7 points behind Spurs and 11 points behind Chelsea and are yet to make any signing (apart from Walcott’s contract extension). 4th place and the inevitable Arsenal’s trophy (Champions league Qualification) seems far from reach of Arsene Wenger’s men.
Arsene Wenger came out spoke about the importance of this game yesterday. He said:
“It’s a very important game for us, of course. We have to transform the potential we have shown in the [last] two games into points and that is a good opportunity tomorrow to do it. What is worrying is just that we do not win the big games. That at the moment we do not get the results we want.
That is more worrying than the difference in points. The difference in points mathematically is not dramatic, but the consistency of our performances within games is what is worrying. When you see us in the first half, and us in the second half it is difficult to believe that we are the same team. That is more worrying for me.”
West Ham on the other hand have done well both in the transfer market and in the league as well. Considering it’s their first season after promotion it has to be said they have done well to be sitting in at 12th place. Sam Allardyce has brought in ex-West Ham player Joe Cole and Arsenal striker Maurone Chamakh in January window looking to add a new attacking flare up front.
Team News and Injury News:
To make matter worse for the Gunners, Francis Coquelin who was brilliant against Chelsea picked up an injury in the same match and will not be available today adding worries to the already fragile midfield. Mikel Arteta is still out with his calf injury along with the long term absentees Rosicky and Fabianski.
It is expected that Ramsey will get the nod alongside Diaby in the midfield with Wilshere and Cazorla playing in advanced rolls. Podolski who missed out Chelsea’s encounter on account of illness but will be available for selection tonight. It is up-to Wenger to decide whether he starts with Giroud or Walcott upfront.
West Ham will be without the services of on-loan striker Chamakh and have to depend on Carlton Cole’s impending physical presence. Joe Cole and Matt Jarvis are the likely candidates to start along side Carlton. Arsenal target Diame and the dangerous Nolan will be battling it out in the midfield and it is a good chance for the fans who can take a closer look at Diame (potential Arsenal target).
Arsenal: Szczesny; Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs; Diaby, Wilshere; Cazorla, Podolski, Walcott; Giroud.
West Ham: Jaaskelainen; Demel, Tomkins , Reid , O’Brien ; Noble, Diame ; Jarvis, Nolan , Cole (Joe) ; Cole (Carlton).
- Arsenal have won eight and lost none of the last 10 matches in all competitions against West Ham.
- The Hammers have failed to score in seven of the last nine Premier League games against the Gunners.
- West Ham were the last visiting team to win a Premier League game at Highbury and the first to win at the Emirates.
- Arsenal have scored in the 41st and 77th minutes in each of their last two matches against West Ham.
- There have been four penalties in the last five Premier League meetings between Arsenal and West Ham.
- Sam Allardyce has led a team to eight Premier League games away to Arsenal, and although he has never won (W0 D3 L5), his teams have only failed to score in one of those eight visits.
- Only Liverpool and Man Utd (six each) have won away at Arsenal more often in the Premier League era than West Ham (4).
- Arsenal have lost consecutive games in the Premier League for the first time since last January when they lost all three of their games in the month.
- Theo Walcott has been involved in five of Arsenal’s last six Premier League goals (three goals, two assists) and has scored 11 in his last 15 appearances for Arsenal (in all competitions).
- West Ham have won just one of their last seven games in the Premier League (W1 D2 L4), while away from home, they’ve collected just one point in their last five trips (D1 L4).
Prediction: 3-1 win for the home side.