West Ham vs Arsenal – Analysis, Prediction, Team News
Sunday 16th April 2023
As part of our weekend Premier League predictions, we take a look at Arsenal’s visit to West Ham. Arsenal have Man City breathing down their necks, but have the best away record in the league. Away win? Read on with our West Ham vs Arsenal prediction.
West Ham vs Arsenal Match Preview
West Ham begin this London derby in decent form. Indeed, the Hammers are eighth in the form table across the last six games, having won three and picked up 10 points. However, the other two matches were hefty defeats to Brighton and Newcastle. That 5-1 loss to the Magpies is their only defeat on home soil in 2023, and they will hope that they are not in for another here. West Ham have obtained 6 wins and 21 points in 15 games at home this season.
West Ham beat Fulham 1-0 at Craven Cottage last weekend and then drew 1-1 with Gent in the Conference League on Thursday. They had less possession of the ball in each game (47 per cent against Gent and a paltry 23 per cent against Fulham). This stat went against our prediction for the Fulham game, where we thought Fulham might have more of the ball but not significantly so. Hence, this highlights how difficult predicting a game’s flow can be. David Moyes’s men currently sit in 15th position with 30 points from 29 games. They are three points above the relegation zone but still at serious risk of going down, so every point helps.
Arsenal make the short trip across London in excellent form. The Gunners have taken 22 of the last 24 points, the same amount as Man City and surprise package Aston Villa. Their match last weekend was a 2-2 draw at Anfield, where Liverpool came back from 2-0 down and could have won themselves. This result might cast some doubt in coach Mikel Arteta’s mind, but Anfield is a very challenging place to go. This game doesn’t change the fact that Arsenal have the best away record in the division, having won eleven and drawn two of their 15 games. Therefore, they can come into this game with confidence.
Indeed, Arsenal know they have no option other than to keep winning – Man City have come into scintillating form and are only three points behind Arsenal, with the league leaders still to visit the Etihad. However, the elimination from the Europa League to Portuguese club Sporting a month ago has allowed the Gunners to play only one game a week and fully concentrate on their quest for the Premier League title. At the same time, Man City still have Champions League and FA Cup commitments. Hence, Arsenal should be fresh and raring to go.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play:
Will Not Play: Scamacca
Might Not Play: Nketiah
Will Not Play: Tomiyasu, Saliba, Elneny
West Ham vs Arsenal Lineups (Predicted)
West Ham (4-2-3-1 / 4-3-3): Fabianski; Cresswell, Aguerd, Zouma, Kehrer; Rice, Soucek; Benrahma, Paqueta, Bowen; Ings
Arsenal (4-3-3): Ramsdale; Zinchenko, Gabriel, Holding, White; Partey, Xhaka, Odegaard; Martinelli, Jesus, Saka
West Ham vs Arsenal Analysis
Arsenal Are In Great Form and Will Control The Midfield and Hope to Score Goals
Arsenal’s form has been terrific across the last nine games. They hope to return to winning ways this weekend after surrendering the 2-0 lead against Liverpool. Arsenal are a much more possession-based team than West Ham and have significantly superior players. Hence, we expect them to show up at the London Stadium and impose themselves by trying to play their natural patient and probing game. They will likely have the lion’s share of the ball.
Partey’s athleticism in midfield will be crucial in ensuring that there are no gaps for West Ham to play through and in setting the tempo and matching the dynamism of Rice, Soucek and Paqueta. He will link well with Xhaka and Odegaard. The former is very good in that left midfield half-space where the midfielder can both get forward and fill in as a left-back when Zinchenko comes inside to midfield. Odegaard always has excellent football IQ, dribbling and passing and will be responsible for making the play; he will try to find little passes into the wingers and Jesus and operate between the lines.
In attack, Trossard, Martinelli and Saka are all very dangerous down the flanks – their dribbling, trickery, and pace will all come in handy in attacking the West Ham full-backs and trying to make their way into the box and take shots. Martinelli has been particularly prolific recently. We expect him to impact the left-hand side against Kehrer if Martinelli starts. Jesus’s return is a boon for Arsenal, and he has already got back into the groove – his link-up, dribbling, ability to play in tight spaces and passing will be vital in opening up West Ham. He will also hope to score goals by being played into one-on-ones by Odegaard or the wingers.
West Ham Will Play On The Counter Against a Superior Side
West Ham are struggling near the bottom of the table – it is, therefore, probable that they will concede possession and momentum to Arsenal and look to soak up pressure, defend for their lives, and hit Arsenal on transitions. They will require much luck to get a result, but there are things they can do to increase their chances. Rice, Soucek and Paqueta must remain compact in midfield and allow no gaps to appear where Arsenal can play through. The full-backs (possibly Cresswell and Keher) must also defend well, and Benrahma and Bowen must drop back and help them. The centre-backs and Fabianski must deal with crosses being delivered into the box.
When West Ham get the chance to attack, they are good aerially, and set pieces will be a vital weapon. These situations might be why Cresswell could start – his crossing from corners and free kicks is usually excellent and could find a chink in Arsenal’s armour. For West Ham to score goals in open play, they must try to nick the ball in the two deeper thirds and release quick balls down the sides for Benrahama and Bowen to chase. They might get fewer opportunities, but the two wingers must try to operate in the Arsenal full-back areas, deliver crosses, or come inside to shoot.
Paqueta’s runs into the box could also be fruitful. We back Ings to start over Antonio up front as he’s more of a goal threat – he must try to take any chances that come as they’ll likely be at a premium. His runs, hard work and diligent play will be crucial if West Ham are to be successful in this match. Generally – as crude as it sounds – West Ham must keep it tight, squeeze the play, rely on their goalkeeper and plenty of luck, and break at pace. This counter-attack game is something Arsenal will likely force into them, but they’ll be happy playing that way as it’s their best chance of getting a result. Fornals and Lanzini are possible creative reinforcements.
Arsenal have been in fantastic form recently – true, they drew 2-2 at Anfield last weekend, but Anfield is possibly the most brutal place to go in English football, and they shot themselves in the foot somewhat by settling at 2-0 and trying to slow the game down rather than going for the jugular in attempting to score more goals. They hope to get back on track in this match against West Ham. The London Stadium isn’t generally an easy place to go. However, Arsenal have scored at least two goals in 12 of their last 14 away matches against West Ham in all competitions.
Therefore, this game looks like a decent tactical matchup for Arsenal. They can turn up at West Ham’s ground and pin back the home side, looking to dominate them and get in behind a packed, organised low block. They must be way of the counter-attack, though – we do fancy West Ham to score because Arsenal sometimes give opponents a chance. However, the Gunners can be irresistible in attack and we fancy them to score several times themselves. With Man City hot on their heels, Arsenal know they must keep winning and not offer the Manchester club any encouragement whatsoever – we think they’ll win this match.
West Ham 1-3 Arsenal
West Ham vs Arsenal Betting Tip – Arsenal -1 (win by 2 goals or more) Odds:
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