After an unconvincing 1-0 win in the ELF Cup against Lincoln City, West Ham now face a huge challenge in Arsenal. Can Moyes gather his men after a week of dismal results. Last weekends loss to Everton was the third loss in a row (4-1 to Villa, 2-1 to Olympiacos, then 1-0 to Everton). So let’s have a deeper look into this important fixture.
Arsenal have only lost once in all competitions this campaign (2-1 loss to Lens in their Champions league group). They are sat in joint second in the Premier league, with 24 points, level with Manchester City and only 2 points behind leaders Tottenham. They boast the joint most impressive goal difference too, with +15 (Joint with Manchester City and Newcastle). Mikel Arteta’s side are purring and look to carry on their impressive form from last seasons second place finish.
The fixture taking place at the London stadium sounds like a huge advantage for the Hammers, however the stats read differently. Surprisingly, the North London side have a better win % away from home (75%) than they do at the Emirates (67%) this season. What’s more impressive is Arsenal have only conceded 2 goals away from home this season. Home or away seems to make little difference in the result for West Ham United as we have both a 40% win percentage home and away in the league this season.
However, this is knockout football, not league football, which suits West Ham. As we all know Moyes guided the Hammers to their first European trophy since 1965. He seems to be able to prepare his teams for tournament football very well. Something he will no doubt hope he can transition over from our form in Europe last year, to the domestic trophies we are compete for now.
Bukayo Saka has been Arsenal’s player of the season so far. He plays with such creativity and confidence, a dangerous mix for a pacy winger. Since his Euro 2020 penalty miss, the young Englishman has constantly improved his game where he now finds himself as the Arsenal poster boy. He is Arsenal’s top scorer (5 goals) and top playmaker (6 assists) this season. With Odegaard’s form dipping, he captained his for the first time during their 5-0 win against Sheffield United. He is sure to play an important part in the game, unless he is rested.
In form Eddie:
Eddie nketiah’s hatrick in the Gunners latest game against Sheffield United was impressive. Since the departure of aubameyang, the North London side haven’t had an out and out striker. Jesus came in from Manchester City but often looks better on the wing. However, this is the season it looks like Eddie will stake his calm for the number 9 spot. What’s impressive is that he has registered 20 shots in the league this season, thankfully they’ve been fairly inaccurate with only 40% being on target. Either way, he is sure to make Areola work hard for his clean sheet.
Arteta signing Kai Havertz from Chelsea confused a lot of people in the summer transfer window. What is more confusing is how he’s deploying him in his team. So far this season Havertz has started alongside Odegaard and Rice in the midfield. In comparison to last seasons Partey, Odegaard and Xhaka, who dominated games, this seasons midfield look unbalanced and fragile. Don’t worry I’m not saying Rice is the problem, because he’s been brilliant. The problem is Havertz keeps taking Odegaards space, and he isn’t half the player. This leaves Arsenal looking vulnerable, and could potentially suit West Hams counter attacking play style as on the turn, there is plenty of space in the centre of the park.
I pray to see Havertz in the starting line up tomorrow night, and I think it’s likely. West Ham are on a poor run of form, so Arteta may see it as a good opportunity to deploy his misunderstood 65 million pound signing. No Jesus and no Thomas Partey could provide the Hammers the opportunity to continue in this competition. Arsenal aren’t likely to ease up too much with the lineup, however they are hoping to do one better than they did last year in the league, as well as competing deep into the champions league, so logically this is their least important competition. Let’s see if this is reflected in the team sheet.
I can see a typically cagey, counter attack system deployed by Moyes, where Arsenal will have upwards of 70% possession. I’m going with 1-1, where the game will go to penalties. Penalties are like a flip of the coin, however I’m going with West Ham to win on pens, as after some disappointing results, we are due something to cheer about. Come on you Hammers!
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