2021-22 Premier League: Week 17 – Arsenal vs West Ham

Arsenal welcome West Ham to the London Stadium in a blockbuster London derby clash in the race for the top four.

Victory would see West Ham open a four point gap over fifth-placed Manchester United, whereas Arsenal can leapfrog the Hammers with a win into fourth.

 

Team News

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been stripped of captaincy of Arsenal following an internal disciplinary issue, with the club confirming that he won’t be available for this match.

Sead Kolasinac (ankle) and Bernd Leno (groin) remains absent.

West Ham could welcome Aaron Cresswell back after missing the Hammers’ last four matches with a back injury.

Ben Johnson, Kurt Zouma (both hamstring), Ryan Fredricks (groin) and Angelo Ogbonna (knee) remain ruled out.

 

Stat Attack

  • Arsenal have lost just one of their last five meetings against West Ham (W3, D1, L1).
  • West Ham have lost each of their last five visits to Arsenal (L5).
  • Arsenal’s Alexandre Lacazette has scored in each of his last three appearances against West Ham.
  • Takehiro Tomiyasu has had more touches on the ball than any other Arsenal player this season, having touched the ball on 967 occasions.
  • West Ham haven’t drawn two consecutive league matches since April 2017 – when they drew blank against Everton and Stoke.

 

Prediction

Despite continuing to endure frustratingly shaky defensive issues, Arsenal were excellent on the attack with three well-worked clinical goals and solid energy in their movement, which is a real positive coming into this encounter where they need to be at their best.

West Ham meanwhile need a reaction here after finding themselves held to a goalless draw at Burnley though weak finishing, especially given how dominant they were on the attack throughout the match which will give them confidence heading to Arsenal.

Throw in the battle for fourth place heading into the festive fortnight then this is a crucial clash where mistakes could prove costly, yet Arsenal have been difficult to beat at home this season but West Ham can cause issues in defence if they press well enough.

On that note, my gut instinct is that we are set for a close encounter and a draw would be a decent bet.

Prediction: Arsenal 1-1 West Ham

Result: Arsenal 2-0 West Ham

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