Arsenal Match Preview
West Ham United haven’t lost back-to-back Premier League games since January and they will be hoping to stretch that record even further when Arsenal are the visitors for their last London derby of the season this afternoon.
Mikel Arteta’s side arrive in East London on a recent run of good form but they have a tendency to come unstuck as they did in defeats to Liverpool, Brighton and Hove Albion, Crystal Palace and Southampton.
The home fans will certainly be hoping that their team can atone for Thursday’s UEFA Europa League semi-final first-leg disappointment against FFV Eintract Frankfurt with three points here.
Both sides will remember last season’s epic 3-3 thriller here and whilst the visitors may take confidence from that extraordinary comeback, the Irons will hope not to be in that sort of situation this time around.
The Gunners have had a full week to prepare for this game, whereas the hosts would have only been focusing on this latest challenge for two days after defeat to the Germans.
Arsenal can do the double over the East Londoners here as they won the reverse fixture 2-0 back in December and they will have momentum behind them, given that they come into the game off the back of victories over both Chelsea and Manchester United.
Having lost at Chelsea in their last top-flight encounter too, the Hammers will be desperate to lift themselves here as they haven’t claimed victory since the 2-1 home success over Everton back on April 3.
In his pre-match news conference ahead of Thursday’s game, David Moyes revealed that Issa Diop’s ankle injury wasn’t as bad as first feared and that Kurt Zouma was working his way back to fitness. Zouma however played the full ninety minutes of the semi-final first-leg and the Scotsman is hopeful that the Frenchman is able to play this match as he is now without Craig Dawson, following his straight red card at Stamford Bridge a week ago, while Diop may also play some part.
Vladimír Coufal, Ryan Fredericks, Arthur Masuaku and Nikola Vlašić are also looking to be involved, while Łukasz Fabiański is likely to return to goal in place of Alphonse Areola.
The match kicks off at 4:30pm with live coverage being screened by Sky Sports from 4pm. The referee is Mike Dean.