This is a must win game for the Gunners and 3 points is what is required against the Hammers in our quest for 4th place. Allardyce’s team are relatively safe however he insisted his team still needs some more points after two of the bottom three won. It promises to be yet another nervy, tense affair for the home fans.
120 minutes of physically draining football and three days later playing a side, that overpowers and kicks the opposition instead of the ball, add to this the host of injuries and doubts and our recent wobble, it doesn’t exude optimism at all. However Arsenal must put all their woes behind them and bag all the three points if they are to catch Everton. Given our injuries situation and Flamini’s suspension, I seriously suspect Kallstrom will start this game. The Swede hasn’t started a game since he joined the club and it will be interesting to watch how he adapts himself. His physicality could come handy against West Ham. We wouldn’t have completely recovered from our Wembley hangover and all we got is a cobbled team, so a fast start is required and hopefully we can finish off the game within an hour and give some weary legs a rest.
Out- Diaby,Walcott, Wilshere, Flamini(suspended), Ozil
Doubt- Rosicky, Koscielny, Ramsey, Monreal, Oxlade Chamberlain
WEST HAM UNITED
The East London side are defensively strong and their 13 clean chits is a testament to their defensive stability. They have won 6 games out of their last 10 and are 7 points clear of relegation zone. West Ham earned a valuable point away to Chelsea where they frustrated Mourinho’s side to such a extent that the Chelsea manager criticized West Ham for their” 19th century football”. Words of wisdom from the founding father of the modern century football. Andy Carroll is the obvious threat from set pieces and crosses into the box. We have to cope with him and also stop West Ham players especially Nolan from getting on to the knockdowns. Diame is one of the few who can actually play football in that team and is such a powerful presence. They would be happy to leave the Emirates with a point and being a derby you could expect some tackles to fly in. Last season they took a early lead much to the surprise of Arsenal but Podolski destroyed them from the left. Arsenal won 5-1 that day.
Out- Collison, Joey’ O Brien, Marco Borriello
Doubt- Nolan, George McCartney
MAN TO WATCH
Arsenal- Lukas Podolski
The German was visibly disappointed when he was subbed on Saturday and also expressed his annoyance after the game. He was man of the match last time when the Hammers visited and don’t be surprised if he thunders one of those rockets.
West Ham United- Andy Carroll
It’s obvious why he wasn’t a success at Liverpool. Liverpool play football and unfortunately Andy Carroll is not a footballer. He is more of a gigantic heads knock down elbower, pff I don’t know where I am getting to. However at West Ham the team is built around him and they play to his strengths.
It has been a while since we won at the Emirates and how satisfactory it would be to break that run in a London Derby. An early goal, four goal lead by half time, Podolski hat trick of screamers one of which that rips the net, Tomkins gets sent off, Allardyce goes mental on the sidelines assaults fourth official and banned for life, Arsenal win by a double digit margin and every player on the field scores. That’s some wishful thinking. COYG