West Ham United v Arsenal Betting Preview: Latest odds, team news, tips and predictions

West Ham United v Arsenal match preview image

Premier League West Ham United v Arsenal

West Ham United logo Arsenal logo

Saturday, January 12, 2019


London Stadium

Punter's Pick

Arsenal still start the game as favourites and Bet365 are offering a generous evens (1/1) for an Arsenal victory. Considering The Hammers have not beaten Arsenal in their last 7 outings, this seems a real value bet.

Both sides come into this fixture off the back of patchy performances over the packed festive period. West Ham’s four game winning streak in December came to an abrupt end with a disappointing 2-0 reversal at the hands of another London club in Watford just before Christmas. This was followed by one win, one defeat and one draw leading into this fixture. Current performances have been mainly characterized with the inability to keep clean sheets, with just one in their last seven league games, which will be of real concern to manager Manuel Pellegrini, especially with a free scoring Arsenal team always like to fashion chances.

Arsenal come into this fixture in a spell of indifferent form themselves – a 4-1 win in their last league fixture against Fulham slightly flattering them given they could, and should have found themselves 2-0 down if Fulham had converted relatively easy early chances. That win followed a 5-1 mauling at the hands of league leaders Liverpool, who ruthlessly exposed gaps in their defence as well as overran and outmuscled them in midfield, something which West Ham would have noted with great interest.

Both teams are likely to make wholesale changes from their FA Cup ties, with heavyweight regulars ready to return. For West Ham the continuing form and fitness of Andy Carroll remains a concern, but having got him back out on the pitch and in goalscoring form in their previous game, the Hammers will be hoping he can wreak havoc on Arsenal’s defence, as he so often has in the past. The bigger blow will be if talisman and joint leading goalscorer Marko Arnautovic, substituted due to a back injury against Birmingham City, is unable to take his place in the starting XI. The noises coming out of the club suggest this was just a precautionary move, but whether this is just kidology or mind games ahead of the clash remains to be seen. In Felipe Anderson and Javier Hernandez, West Ham still have plenty of other firepower to call upon, and Anderson in particular needs to start turning it on against the bigger teams having now found his feet in English football.

For Arsenal, Unai Emery will again have to shuffle his pack depending on how many fit defenders he is able to call upon, with Shkodran Mustafi coming off with an apparent niggle at half-time in Arsenal’s last league game at Fulham. Emery may revert to a traditional flat back four, with Laurent Koscielny again an injury doubt after pulling out for the game against Blackpool. This will leave Emery short on personnel if he wanted to deploy his often used 3-5-2 formation to try and stifle West Ham’s attacking players. Mesut Ozil continues to be absent due to knee injury, and it doesn’t feel like an Emery style move to throw the player even if fit back into a difficult away fixture, particularly a high octane London derby.

Emery’s first win as Arsenal manager ironically came against the Hammers back in late August, with a 3-1 victory at The Emirates masking what was an unconvincing performance from his team. In intervening months both sides have improved and progressively moved up the table. Arsenal are still in the hunt for a top four spot, and for West Ham a top seven finish still remains a realistic target.

West Ham have been a mixed bag against the top six teams, with a win against Manchester United and draw at Chelsea (both at home) punctuated by heavy defeats by Liverpool and Manchester City and a narrow loss to Tottenham Hotspur. With this being a London derby and a vulnerable looking Arsenal defence, they may fancy their chances of landing a big six scalp and further confirming their progress under Manuel Pellegrini.

Punter's Pick

Arsenal still start the game as favourites and Bet365 are offering a generous evens (1/1) for an Arsenal victory. Considering The Hammers have not beaten Arsenal in their last 7 outings, this seems a real value bet.

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