The long wait is finally over. Arsenal are back and its that time of the year when football fans are full of hope and expectations for their team ahead of the new season. And from an Arsenal perspective, the optimism ahead of this season seems greater than any other season in recent memory and rightly so. We have won back to back FA Cups, the squad is as deep as it has been since the Invincibles and we have just signed Petr Cech; and if that doesn’t excite you, you’re dead inside.
Arsenal face West Ham United at the Emirates and for once we don’t have to see Fat Sam bellowing on the touchline which in itself is a great sight. It all starts today and what better way to kick off than with a grand opening day win.
The Gunners come into the game on the back of a storming pre-season that culminated with the Community Shield win over Mourinho’s Chelsea. The team news is that Arsenal will be without Jack Wilshere, Danny Welbeck, Tomas Rosicky and David Ospina. Meanwhile Alexis has been locked in a room with his dogs to stop him from running onto the pitch, such is his desire to play. Is he really human? I think Olivier Giroud will get the nod ahead of Walcott while I expect Cazorla to start in the centre along with Le Coq. Petr Cech will make his Premier League debut for Arsenal today. The back four should remain unchanged, barring any last minute changes.
WEST HAM UNITED
West Ham parted ways with Fat Sam at the end of last season and Slaven Bilic is the new man at the helm. The former Besiktas manager’s challenge will be to achieve a top 10 finish while playing actual football. West Ham have bought a few decent players this season. Dimitri Payet is certainly a top quality player and Le Coq will have his work cut out for him. Carl Jenkinson is ineligible to play against his parent club while Enner Valenicia is out with a knee injury and Andy Caroll is as injured as ever. West Ham crashed out of the Europa league in midweek and Arsenal away is not the place you want to start your season, especially under the new man at the helm.
Not your usual score prediction but what I think may happen. Arsenal to win by a good margin, the Ox to run riot if he starts and Petr Cech to keep a clean sheet.