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Preview: Arsenal v West Ham – Key man ruled out, Leno/Torreira to start + prediction

By on September 6, 2018

aaron ramsey arsenal

Arsenal simply have to get our first points on the board this season when we welcome West Ham to the Emirates Stadium.

It’s safe to say it’s been a disappointing start to the 2018/19 Premier League campaign. The opening weekend defeat to Man City was annoying but hardly surprising, however, the 3-2 loss at Chelsea was hugely frustrating.

Our defence looked as bad as ever during a chaotic opening 45 minutes that saw us claw our way back from 2-0 down to 2-2 before blowing it in the second half to leave us pointless after two matches.

West Ham at home is a great opportunity for Unai Emery to get his first win but the Hammers arrive at the Emirates under pressure themselves after also losing their opening two fixtures.

Manuel Pellegrini was backed by the owners in the summer so he needs to deliver and will be desperate for a positive result having lost to Liverpool and Bournemouth so we shouldn’t take anything for granted.

Team news

Arsenal appear to have been dealt a fresh blow ahead of the game amid reports that Mesut Ozil missed training on Friday due to illness and is unlikely to feature.

Sead Kolasinac and Ainsley Maitland-Niles are out with long-term injuries while Laurent Koscielny is also still unavailable despite stepping-up his rehabilitation from an Achilles injury by returning to light training last week.

As for West Ham, they’ll be without Mark Noble due to a back injury while Andy Carroll, Winston Reid and Manuel Lanzini are long-term absentees.

Jack Wilshere will face Arsenal for the first time since leaving earlier this summer and it will be weird to see him lining-up against us. Lucas Perez and Lukasz Fabianski will also face their former club.

Preferred line-up

I think it’s time Bernd Leno was handed his first start. He was brought-in as Petr Cech’s replacement so let’s stop wasting time and give the lad a chance to prove himself.

I’d also love to see Lucas Torreira make his debut in midfield with Granit Xhaka’s place under threat after he was hooked at half-time against Chelsea while Aaron Ramsey should be recalled if Ozil’s out. Emery has called on Rambo to not let his contract talks distract him so this is a big game for him.

The other big change I’d make is to start Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the left with Alexandre Lacazette starting up front. Emery has suggested he’s not ready to play both just yet but I think that’s a huge mistake.

This would be my line-up:

In reality, Emery will probably go with: Cech; Bellerin, Mustafi, Sokratis, Monreal; Guendouzi, Torreira, Ramsey; Mkhitaryan, Iwobi, Aubameyang.

West Ham are expected to line-up: Fabianski, Cresswell, Ogbonna, Balbuena, Zabaleta, Obiang, Wilshere, Yarmolenko, Anderson, Snodgrass, Arnoutovic.

Prediction

Our record against West Ham is a decent one as we’ve lost just one of our last 22 meetings and this should be a good game for us on paper. The Hammers will look to play football and while they may cause us problems in defence – as we still don’t know how to keep the ball out of the net – I think we’ll have too much for them going forward. I’m backing Aubameyang to be among the goals in a 3-1 win. Arsenal 3-1 West Ham

Betting

Any regular punter will tell you that sports gambling is never easy but I think an Arsenal win is nailed on in this game so there is money to be won. Arsenal are the 4/11 favourites to win the game but we need more value so if you back my predicted score of 3-1 you can get odds of 17/2. If we add Aubameyang as first goalscorer we get very tempting odds of 20/1. For those who want a less risky bet, both teams to score at EVS looks a solid bet.

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One Comment

  1. Graham Benbow

    August 25, 2018 at 2:55 pm

    What is it with Emery? Bellerin, Xhaka & Mustafi. Probably the three worst players in the PL in the starting 11.If we don’t win today there’ll be hell to pay.
    Here is somthing special.In Norway they let that arshole Thorsvate (Spurs ex goalkeeper) commentate the Arsenal game.Talk about “the kiss of Death”?

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