Arsenal vs West Ham
Barclays Premier League
Kick off: April 15, 2014 7:45 PM BST
After what has been a torrid run in the league, Arsenal finally managed to boost some morale after securing a spot in the FA Cup final. It wasn’t the greatest performance, but the win will do Arsenal a lot of good coming back to the Premier League. With Everton leap-frogging us to fourth spot, dropped points are definitely no longer an option, particularly knowing our fate is no longer in our hands.
Looking at the squad, it feels like deja vu with a number of injury concerns at such a crucial part of the season. The two players of particular note that fall under this category are Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Aaron Ramsey. After what was a mammoth match against Wigan, both players have been revealed to be suffering from a bit of muscle tightness. As a result, Ramsey looks set for a break after only just returning from injury, while the Ox should hopefully start, especially considering he is easily our most potent attacker at present.
Ramsey’s likely drop to the bench coupled with Flamini’s suspension means that Kim Kallstrom should finally be afforded a start. The Swedish midfielder came on for a good cameo against Wigan at the weekend, so it will be interesting to see how he goes for a longer period. Hopefully he will be joined by Koscielny and Rosicky who face late tests. Although Ozil, Diaby and Bendtner have been seen in training, it looks unlikely they will feature.
Looking at West Ham, it is no secret that we tend to struggle against more physical opposition and we only have to look to Andy Carroll to see that the Hammers may pose problems for the Gunners. While past meetings do tell a different story, at this stage of the season coupled with Arsenal’s current lack of form we can ill afford to be complacent. The Hammers may not have much to play for, but you definitely get the feeling they know Arsenal do look a bit vulnerable at present.
Overall, you get the feeling that this match may be one of those matches where Arsenal will have to patient to break the Hammers down. The Gunners haven’t been particularly dynamic and have lacked penetration in recent weeks, but our superior quality should get us through by the final whistle. We have to keep applying pressure on the Toffees and there is no better way to do that than getting three points and getting back into fourth spot. COYG!
Apr 12, 2014 Wigan Athletic 1 (2) – Arsenal 1 (4) FA
Apr 6, 2014 Everton 3 – Arsenal 0 EPL
Mar 29, 2014 Arsenal 1 – Manchester City FC 1 EPL
Mar 25, 2014 Arsenal 2 – Swansea 2 EPL
Mar 22, 2014 Chelsea FC 6 – Arsenal 0 EPL
Apr 6, 2014 West Ham 1 – Liverpool 2 EPL
Mar 31, 2014 Sunderland 1 – West Ham 2 EPL
Mar 26, 2014 West Ham 2 – Hull 1 EPL
Mar 22, 2014 West Ham 0 – Man Utd. 2 EPL
Mar 15, 2014 Stoke 3 – West Ham 1 EPL
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West Ham 1 Arsenal 2