Hammers preview: West Ham v Arsenal

The opposition

IN THE hunt for the Premier League title, Arsenal head to Upton Park major favourites and undoubtedly confident of picking up the three points.

As is the norm with the Hammers’ north London neighbours, attractive free-flowing football is at the heart of Arsenal’s success, but added steel has given fans greater hope of success this season.

Alex Song has been a star for the Gunners this season and has turned from a holding player into a box to box midfielder to great effect. Combining his previous solid tackling with new found energy and creativity.

Samir Nasri has almost knocked off Cesc Fabregas as Arsenal’s most important player.


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The French playmaker has scored 13 goals, with many suggesting he is the form player in the division at the moment.

Robin van Persie is yet to fully find his feet this season after again struggling with injuries, but it is only a matter of time before he starts scoring for fun and unlike previous years, in Marouane Chamakh, Arsenal have had a replacement who has an eye for goal. The Moroccan has found the net 10 times already.

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Key to the game

ARSENAL’S strength lies in the midfield and it will be tough for West Ham to contain their five man attack of Song, Fabregas, Nasri, Wilshere and Walcott.

The Hammers struggle to stop crosses coming into the box and although the Gunners play quite narrow attacking full backs, Emmanuel Eboue and Gael Clichy are impressive going forward.

Their major weaknesses lie at the other end of the pitch with question marks over goalkeeper Lucas Fabianski, while boss Arsene Wenger is seemingly unsure whether Sebastein Squillaci or Johan Djourou are the best partner for summer signing Laurent Koscielny, with neither particularly solid.

Verdict

IT is hard to see West Ham keeping Arsenal at bay for 90 minutes and with the Hammers struggling up front to hold the ball up and score goals, there will be a lot of pressure on the hosts’ back-line.

The Hammers have kept only three clean sheets in the league this season and that stat is unlikely to change come 7.30pm on Saturday night.

Prediction: West Ham 0 Arsenal 2

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