Arsenal vs West Ham United
Venue: Emirates Stadium
Referee: Graham Scott
The post-Arsene Wenger era continues at Arsenal as new manager Unai Emery welcomes Manuel Pellegrini’s West Ham United to the Emirates this Saturday for a second London derby in a row, as both managers search for their first wins in charge of their new clubs.
A win for Emery would improve his relationship with the relentless Arsenal fans, especially after their 3-2 defeat to London rivals Chelsea last time out. The Spaniard will be hoping that he will indeed get the three points, especially as the last time Arsenal played against West Ham at the Emirates it ended in a 4-1 win for the Gunners.
Manuel Pellegrini’s difficult start to life as manager of West Ham United looks set to continue after they collapsed to a disappointing 1-2 defeat to Bournemouth last weekend, which he would have been banking on in order to collect some points to get the Hammers off the mark. Despite this, Arsenal have not had the best starts to life under Emery either, and the Hammers could potentially take advantage of Arsenal’s shaky start in 2018/19.
Emery will be without defensive duo Sead Kolasinac, who is out with a knee injury and not expected back until October, and Laurent Koscielny who remains on the side-lines with an Achilles injury, keeping him out until December. Emery will be expected to introduce a couple new faces to the starting line-up as Hector Bellerin’s position looks under threat after recent poor form and could be replaced by the more experienced Stephan Lichtsteiner. Furthermore, Lucas Torreira could make his first start for the Gunners in place of Granit Xhaka.
Manuel Pellegrini will have a selection headache for this weekends game and it won’t be a good one. With the West Ham defence as questionable as ever, Pellegrini could look to make some changes, with Angelo Ogbonna heading to the bench in place of the £24 million Issa Diop, signed from Toulouse in the summer.
Captain Mark Noble could also be another casualty as questions marks over his adaptability with Jack Wilshere have come into the spotlight since the start of the season. This means that Pedro Obiang could gain a recall to the starting line-up in order to offer more protection to the back line. Andriy Yarmolenko could be offered a starting berth as well as he has impressed in his two cameos this season. In terms of injuries the Hammers will be without Winston Reid, Andy Carroll and Manuel Lanzini who are all out with long-term injuries.
Predicted Starting XI’s:
Arsenal: Leno; Monreal, Papastathopoulos, Mustafi, Lichtsteiner; Guendouzi, Torreira, Iwobi, Ozil, Mkhitaryan; Aubameyang
West Ham: Fabianski; Masuaku, Diop, Balbuena, Fredericks; Obiang, Wilshere, Antonio, Anderson; Yarmolenko, Arnautovic
Score Prediction: Arsenal 3 West Ham United 1
Arsenal will be confident of picking up their first win against a downbeat West Ham side. Their record against the Hammers is pretty good, as they have only lost once to them in the last 11 years. Although the Hammers do look good on paper and have some quality players in their ranks, Arsenal should have too much for Pellegrini’s side. Aubameyang will look to get his season underway in front of his home fans and similarly Marco Arnautovic will look to provide support for the Hammers and get himself a goal as he did on his last visit to the Emirates. Felipe Anderson and Yarmolenko are two others who have the ability to hurt Arsenal but Arsenal’s firepower should overrule the Hammers threat.