Arsenal go in search of three more points when they host West Ham United at the Emirates Stadium in a Premier League clash this afternoon; with the Hammers yet to get off the mark after being well beaten by Newcastle in their opener.
Good day one and all.
Mikel Arteta will be a reasonably happy man with the Gunners for carrying their positive momentum at the end of last season into 2020/21. He would be particularly pleased with summer recruits Willian and Gabriel Magalhães, who were both imperious on debut in an overall good team performance at Craven Cottage last Saturday.
Of course, the caveat will be “yeah, but it was only Fulham”. Well, there’s no doubt that sterner tests await and only time will tell whether Gabriel is going to give us that defensive solidity we’ve missed in recent years. But also, we can only play what is in front of us and this fixture today is another we are expected to do well in; considering we’ve beaten the Hammers in 10 of their last 11 visits to the Emirates.
David Moyes’ side bounced back from their opening day disappointment with a 3-0 win over Charlton Athletic in an EFL Cup tie in midweek. However, that would have done very little to get a fickle fanbase onside.
West Ham always seem like they are just a few bad results away from total mayhem. And with a tough fixture run against six sides that finished in last season’s top eight in their upcoming six games… if they don’t find their bearings soon, it could be a long and arduous season on the horizon.
Be that as it may, Moyes has been here before and really pulled it out of the bag at the closing stages of last season to avoid relegation. However, the Gunners are in good nick, so we can expect a very subdued approach from the visitors, who will take whatever points they can get in the next six matches.
Arsenal got no new injuries concerns from their last match. Granit Xhaka who had a bit of a scare after suffering a knock is available, so is David Luiz who sat out the opener due to neck spams.
With the new arrivals we now got a good balance to rotate players, though with a week’s rest and still so early in the season that is unlikely to happen. Which only adds to the problem of having such a big squad as it will impact the playing time of several big names.
The big news this week was Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang extending his Emirates stay. Getting this done was Mikel’s number one priority heading into the off-season and with “da ting” now signed… great things is expected of our captain who has scored eight goals in his last six matches in all competitions.
The Gunners are still on an unbeaten league run at the Emirates in 2020 and based on the current contrasting forms of these two sides, I cannot see that run ending today.
Not going to predict a score but will say that we can expect more magic from our wide men who are looking sharp. COYG!