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Preview: West Ham v Arsenal, team news, Xhaka to start + prediction

By on December 2, 2016

arsenal-francis-coquelin

Arsenal will look to bounce back from our League Cup disappointment when we take on West Ham at the London Stadium on Saturday night.

We were woeful against Southampton in midweek, particularly in the first half, and deserved nothing more than we got so the boys better buck up their ideas this weekend if they want to get our season back on track.

A run of three consecutive draws was ended by a 3-1 win over Bournemouth last Sunday but the score-line actually flattered us a little as the visitors more than held their own during an entertaining game.

Our form is certainly a worry as I don’t think we’ve played well for weeks. In fact, I struggle to think of a decent 90-minute performance since Santi Cazorla got injured against Ludogorets on October 19th.

Arsene Wenger desperately needs to figure out a way for us to start playing proper football again without the Spaniard but that isn’t going to be easy against West Ham tomorrow.

Slaven Bilic’s side have struggled this season and may sit 16th in the table but they will be right up for this game, make no mistake about it. They held Man Utd at Old Trafford last weekend and usually reserve their best form for when the big boys arrive.

Team News

Unfortunately, Cazorla has been ruled out for at least another two months after being told he needs surgery to try and cure an on-going Achilles injury.

Hector Bellerin is also still out with an ankle injury while Mathieu Debuchy has been ruled out for six weeks with a nasty hamstring problem.

Olivier Giroud is a major doubt for the game after struggling to overcome a groin injury that he picked up last weekend while Mohamed Elneny will require a late fitness test after being forced off with sickness in midweek.

Danny Welbeck is back in light training but is still four weeks away from being in contention so he remains out along with Per Mertesacker.

As for West Ham, they will have Andy Carroll back in the squad and although Bilic says the Geordie giant isn’t ready to start yet, he’ll be a huge danger off the bench.

Diafra Sakho has been ruled out until the New Year while full-backs Aaron Cresswell and Michail Antonio picked up injuries in midweek and have been ruled out of the game.

Preferred Line-Up

Wenger has two big decisions to make; who starts at right-back and in central midfield. Carl Jenkinson was terrible in midweek so I don’t think he has a case to keep his place in the team. I’ve seen suggestions that Gabriel may start at right-back but surely Francis Coquelin would be more suited?

That would free-up Granit Xhaka to be partnered by Aaron Ramsey in midfield while I’d also like to see Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain start on the left-wing.

This would be my team:

West Ham’s predicted line-up: Randolph; Kouyate, Reid, Ogbonna; Fernandes, Obiang, Noble, Masuaku; Lanzini, Payet; Fletcher

Prediction

As stated previously, our performances have been bang average of late so Wenger really needs to get the players back on track. The good news is that West Ham have been struggling on their new ground so I fancy us to edge this one 2-1. West Ham 1-2 Arsenal

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2 Comments

  1. Pingback: Arsenal Fanatik » Preview: West Ham v Arsenal, team news, Xhaka to start + prediction

  2. Wolvrine

    December 2, 2016 at 7:10 pm

    Combination of ramsey and xhaka is poor

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