West Ham v Arsenal: Gunners looking to get back on track [Match Preview]

| October 6, 2012 | 4 Comments

 

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Arsenal will no doubt want to get their Premier League campaign back on track after recording their first loss in the competition last week against Chelsea. In midweek the Gunners managed to bounce back from that loss with a somewhat unconvincing victory over Olympiakos in the Champions League. While unconvincing, hopefully the players take confidence from that victory and put in a more complete performance against West Ham this game-week.

A topic of interest from the mid-week match has been centered around the middle of defence. In that match we saw Vermaelen and Koscielny, who previously have been considered out first choice pairing, struggle to perform. Both defenders have been touted as similar players with their strengths centered around agility and aggressive defending, a similarity that has seemed to diminish their pairing at the back. There is no doubt that they have each played much better alongside Per Mertesacker.

Going into this match, it would be fair to believe that the big German will be returning to the starting line-up, particularly considering the success he enjoyed with Vermaelen in earlier Premier League matches. While he doesn’t have the agility of both Koscielny and Vermaelen, his positional awareness and aerial strengths will bring a different dimension to the Arsenal defence. When you also factor in that Arsenal have conceded five of their seven goals from set-pieces and also that Andy Carroll is set to return for the Hammers, his selection seems almost like a certainty if he has recovered from illness.

Looking at other end of the field, Gervinho is again likely to retain his role of spearheading Arsenal’s attack. Although the Ivorian can definitely be frustrating at times, his tendency to hold up play and direct style of running certainly suits the lone-strikers role in comparison to out wide and there is no doubt he will keep on providing options for our midfielders with his tireless work-rate. You can’t deny he is probably the right choice to start, especially considering he has scored five goals from the last five games.

In terms of other changes, there is the chance that Aaron Ramsey may make his way back into the starting XI on the wing in place of the Ox. Wenger used this ploy against Chelsea and Manchester City in an attempt to flood midfield and gain superiority, but one feels that even without Diaby Arsenal should clearly have the upper hand in midfield and hence can afford some width with Chamberlain out wide. As in midweek, Coquelin is the likely starter in midfield.

If Arsenal can nullify West Ham’s aerial threat, the match should be a comfortable victory. I am optimistic that the Gunner’s will improve their finishing, take their chances and secure all three points.

 

Arsenal:

West Ham:

 

on Per Mertesacker…

He is better. He came in on Thursday and had a little session. He’ll have a test. It is not certain that he will play.

on the sickness that has affected the team…

It is flu that has travelled from body to body. We have had Coquelin, Vermaelen, Walcott out. But nobody else has it at the moment.

on other team news…

There is nothing else. Wojciech and Fabianski are not back so Martinez will be back in the squad as the second goalkeeper.

on Bacary Sagna…

Maybe he will play on Monday night [for the under-21s]. He needs some games because he has not played for five months. He has been in training for a week now so he should be capable of playing for an hour.

 

Mannone

Jenkinson       Mertesacker      Vermaelen (c)       Gibbs

Coquelin            Arteta

Chamberlain             Cazorla                       Podolski

Gervinho

 

Arsenal – Gervinho – Although his finishing is still far from perfect, he is in a great run of form scoring five goals from five games. The Ivorian also could have had a couple more assists in mid-week had his team-mates taken the chances he provided to them.

West Ham – Andy Carroll – Considering Arsenal has let in five of their last seven goals from set-pieces, the Englishman is likely to be the danger man for West Ham and will no doubt try give Arsenal problems with the aerial prowess.

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Betting Preview & Match Facts: West Ham v Arsenal

Arsenal to win10/11 (1.90)

Draw13/5 (3.60)

West Ham to win3/1 (4.00

 

To win: Arsenal- 10/11 (1.90)

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West Ham 0 Arsenal 3 = 16/1 (17.00)



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  • Aussie Jack

    No doubt this will be a physical game and Arsenal will have the job of bringing the ball down to earth playing their game and not become involved in aerial ping-pong. There could be a few goals at each end and a 3-3 result would not surprise me.

  • Nizam

    Big Sam is well known for his physical style. Now if the ref plays his part meaning he will dish out cards for rough play,the gunners will win. The problem is some of these guys condone injury threatening tackles. I refer to the game with Bolton in Feb 2003. The gunners were leading 2-0 with some 30 min. Guess what. The gunners were undone by a series of puHishable robust tackles. The ref did not take action. Three gunners were seriously injured.
    Now the red faced asked for a show of defiance from his troops. He shd add the ref as well. When he lost to Spurs,he felt the injury time was insufficient. Recll the man City game. 6 min of official time was to be played. The conniving ref played 9 min of aet wher Owen scored the winner.
    I ask fans to draw their own conclusion of how miracles can happen to the red faced but not to others. It must be the ref.

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