Arsenal vs West Ham. Prediction and Preview. Probable Lineups, Team News, Stats, and more

unnamed   2024 01 04T084532.864
On Boxing Day we are expecting an intriguing match between the table leaders and West Ham, who are actively gaining ground over this season. Who will emerge victorious in this duel?

Arsenal FC will host West Ham United FC in the English Premier League 19th round match at the Emirates Stadium. The fixture will take place on Friday, December 29, beginning at 01:45 IST.

Parimatch News will tell you everything you need to know ahead of the upcoming match.

Arsenal News & Current Form: 

A powerful trio has been established at the top of the EPL table – Arsenal, Liverpool FC and Aston Villa FC replace each other almost every day, and what is particularly interesting is that they show football of roughly the same quality. The fight for gold is expected to be a great one, especially as the main predator is watching the showdown from a little further away. 

Manchester City returned from Saudi Arabia after winning the FIFA Club World Cup and are now ready to methodically and cold-bloodedly close the gap. And the team of Pep Guardiola knows how to catch up, best remembered by Arsenal, who suffered last season.

Back then, the Gunners were 10 points ahead, leading single-handedly, but lost the entire gap and missed out on the championship. Now, spurred on by their pursuers, Mikel Arteta’s team are not going to make the same mistakes. Without too much brightness, Arsenal are picking up points, somewhere even frankly sitting back at their gates.

This was the case in the last half hour of the match against Liverpool. The result can be recognised as successful for Londoners, they brought home a draw from Anfield – 1:1, goals exchanged Gabriel Magalhães and Mohamed Salah.

The game between the two leaders turned out to be, to put it mildly, a series of incomprehensible refereeing decisions. The score was opened in the 4th minute after a free-kick from Martin Odegaard and a shot by Magalhães: the referees checked the episode for offside, but saw nothing.

Author of the goal in the clash with Liverpool – Gabriel Magalhães

And in the 18th minute the most notorious episode of the match happened: Odegaard, who was tackling Salah in the penalty area, not only eventually touched the ball with his hand in an attempt to balance himself in the slip, but entirely stopped its movement. And that was happening in the penalty area. The referees saw no reason to award a penalty and didn’t even use the VAR, it was not enough for the head referee Chris Kavanagh. The consensus is that the decision not to award a penalty for Odegaard’s hand was a game changer.

Oleksandr Zinchenko was one of the main anti-heroes of that match. First, he allowed Salah to calmly beat him one-on-one and equalize in the 29th minute. Then, after a corner kick, he prevented his teammate from striking, after which the opponent ran into a dangerous counterattack. Only by a miracle the Reds did not score, the ball hit the crossbar.

Last season Zinchenko seriously let down Mikel Arteta. Just as in the meeting with Jurgen Klopp’s wards, he made a gross mistake in defense, which led to a loss of points and eventually cost the club the championship. Several former legendary players like Owen Hargreaves and Gary Neville have recently criticized the Ukrainian.

And in the 33rd minute there was another incident. Bukayo Saka fought so hard with Greek defender Konstantinos Tsimikas on his line that after another clash the latter crashed straight into Jurgen Klopp. And if the Liverpool coach, as they say, got off with a slight scare, Tsimikas injured his shoulder and had to leave the field, giving way to Joe Gomez. After the game, Klopp said that Tsimikas could have a fracture, which means that the player could be out for a very long time.

After this encounter, Mikel Arteta’s boys celebrated Christmas at the top of the table. However, the status of Christmas champions led the Gunners to the title only once – in the season-1947/48. On seven other occasions the club have missed out on the title: finishing third in 1952, fourth in 1987 and 1990, second in 2003, third in 2008 and second in the last campaign.

Arsenal can lose their lead in the next round – if they lose points against West Ham, Aston Villa defeat MU, and Liverpool defeat the penultimate EPL team Burnley FC. In this case, the Londoners will slip to third place.

The scenario does not seem fantastic – especially this season the Hammers have already managed to upset Martin Odegaard and Co. Almost two months ago, boys of David Moyes knocked Arsenal out of the Carabao Cup ( 3:1). This defeat was the biggest in the EPL era – the last time West Ham beat the Gunners by two goals was more than 36 years ago, in April 1987. And the opponent also broke the series of eight winless head-to-head matches – Arsenal had six successes with two draws.

The team is also successful in the UEFA Champions League, where they won the group with PSV Eindhoven, RC Lens and Sevilla FC, and in the 1/8 finals in February will play against FC Porto.

Among the losses in the squad we should note the absence of midfielder Kai Havertz (4+1) due to suspension. Defender Takehiro Tomiyasu, midfielders Thomas Partey and Fabio Viera will not take the field today due to injuries.

Also talking about transfer plans, Arsenal have identified FC Bayern Munich defender Matthijs de Ligt and Borussia Dortmund defender Nico Schlotterbeck as their long-term targets. But it is noted that these deals will not take place in January due to financial reasons.

De Ligt, the 24-year-old, is tied to a contract with his club until the summer of 2027. The transfer value of the Dutchman is estimated at 65 million euros. The 24-year-old Schlotterbeck’s contract is also until the end of the 2026/27 season. 

West Ham News & Current Form: 

West Ham are making tremendous progress this season compared to the results they had a year ago. Back then, the Londoners had to fight for survival in the elite English division, but the club’s management showed patience by not sacking David Moyes. 

As time shows, not in vain. At the end of last season, the Hammers were triumphant in the UEFA Europa Conference League, which gave them confidence in their own abilities, and therefore the current EPL draw they are doing great. In the last seven rounds, they have won five times and drawn and lost once each, which puts them in seventh place in the standings.

Not so big, but also a valuable gift was given to West Ham in the last 18th round: they got Manchester United FC as an opponent (2:0). Now it can definitely be called a gift, because Erik ten Hag and Co. are frankly crushed by the latest results: no Champions League, no prospects of fighting for European places, let alone championship ambitions. It is ironic that West Ham are now managed by the man who first came after Sir Alex Ferguson at MU: David Moyes. 

In that match the Red Devils outnumbered their opponents in possession, but were equal in the number of shots on goal (9 shots each). West Ham tried to break down the Reds’ defense for 72 minutes before it fell apart. Jarrod Bowen opened the scoring, and 6 minutes later Mohammed Kudus doubled the lead after a mistake by Kobbie Mainoo

Top scorer of West Ham Jarrod Bowen scored again in the game against Manchester United

Over the course of the season, the players are the most successful on their home field with 17 points, away performance is worse – only 13 points scored.

It should not be overlooked that David Moyes’ wards play very poorly in defense in away games. In nine matches, the team conceded 20 goals. Over the past five games, you could see outright failures with Aston Villa (1:4), Fulham FC (0:5). Ahead of the trip to the Emirates, where they have not even managed to draw once since 2017 – eight defeats in a row in all tournaments.

Notably, the Hammers sold their best player, Declan Rice, to Arsenal in the summer. It will be interesting to watch the game of the supporting midfielder in the upcoming meeting. 

In some good news, David Moyes’ side have qualified for the UEFA Europa League play-offs, finishing top of the group. In six rounds of the group stage they lost only to Olympiacos FC (1:2) away. In all other matches, West Ham won. During this period of time, he conceded only four goals, and scored – 10.

The team also made it to the 1/4 final of the League Cup, defeating just the upcoming opponent at the home stadium (3:1). However, they were stopped by Liverpool away (1:5). 

Forward Michail Antonio will miss the meeting due to injury.

Arsenal form guide: W-W-L-D-W-D

West Ham form guide:W-L-W-W-L-W

Arsenal vs West Ham Head-To-Head Record:

ArsenalDrawWest Ham
  • May 1, 2022: West Ham 1 – 2 Arsenal (Premier League);
  • December 26, 2022: Arsenal  3 – 1 West Ham (Premier League);
  • April 16, 2023: West Ham 2 – 2 Arsenal (Premier League);
  • November 1, 2023: West Ham 3 – 1 Arsenal (League Cup).

Arsenal vs West Ham Predicted XI:

Arsenal’s possible starting lineup (4-3-3): Raya; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Odegaard, Jorginho, Rice; Saka, Jesus, Martinelli.

West Ham’s possible starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Areola; Coufal, Zouma, Aguerd, Emerson; Soucek, Alvarez; Kudus, Ward-Prowse, Paqueta; Bowen.

Statistical preview of the match Arsenal vs West Ham:

  • Arsenal’s First XI average age is 25.6 years, West Ham’s First XI average age is 28.9 years.
  • Michael Oliverhas been appointed as the center referee. The referee has already served 21 games this season, showing an average of 4.76 Yellow Cards and also whistles 24.19 fouls per game. 
  • The total value of Arsenal’s squad is 1.11 bln euros, while West Ham’s total is 462 mln euros.
  • Arsenal have not lost in 8 of their last 10 matches against this opponent.
  • In the last 5 games West Ham conceded an average of 2.00 goals per game and scored an average of 1.60 goals per game.
  • In the last 5 games, Arsenal conceded an average of 1.20 goals per game and scored an average of 1.60 goals per game.
  • In the last 7 matches in the EPL Arsenal lost only 1 time (5 wins and 1 draw).
  • On their home field the Londoners have a 10-match unbeaten streak in the championship (8 wins and 2 draws).
  • Mikel Arteta’s side have scored at least two goals in 15 of the previous 17 home games in the Premier League. 
  • West Ham have not lost in 6 of their previous 7 matches in the EPL (5 wins and 1 draw).
  • At least one team has failed to score in the United’s last three games in the сhampionship.
  • Three or more goals have been scored in 6 of West Ham’s previous 8 games in the Premier League, as well as in the last 8 away games of this team in the сhampionship.

What has been said before the match:

Gaffer of the Gunners Mikel Arteta whether the game with West Ham is going to be a challenge or not:

“Very difficult. They are a really good side, really well coached. It’s incredible the success that they had last year. They are again this season showing a lot of consistency. They beat Spurs and Manchester United and that tells you everything about the difficulty of the game tomorrow and we’re going to have to be really good.”

“They open the spaces and combine really well in certain areas and it’s very tricky to control them. The areas where you give the ball away are critical. We will try to nullify the strengths that they have tomorrow and play to our strengths.”

“To be in this league and manage for so long and be more successful than David Moyes is not easy. The teams that he’s done it at and how he’s done it, obviously I know him and I love him a lot and I’m so grateful for everything that he did for me and the times that we had together but he’s an outstanding manager.”

“He does it in a way that’s, in my opinion, very special. He doesn’t make too much noise, but what he has accomplished at West Ham is remarkable.”

Arsenal goalie David Raya on the upcoming opponent:

“West Ham are a great team that can hurt you in many ways, especially on fast attacks and counter-attacks, so we have to be very aware of their strengths. We just have to play our game and focus more on ourselves and what we can do to win the game.

“We played them in the cup as well so we know what to expect. In this league, every game is tough. Anybody can beat anybody so it’s going to be a tough match, as every game is in the Premier League.”

David Moyes praised Mikel Arteta for the team he created:

“I’ve been very impressed with Mikel Arteta since he first went to Arsenal. I believe he won the FA Cup and the Community Shield early on, and then obviously it went a little difficult and there was some talk, but he hasn’t half proved all the doubters wrong. He’s done a brilliant job with Arsenal and got them incredibly competitive, and back towards the top of the Premier League and competing again.”

“We’re all pleased for Declan Rice. No one ever doubted his ability and, while we won’t be cheering him on against us on Thursday evening, we’re always looking out for him.”

“I said right from the start that I thought Declan Rice was a top player and I thought his value could have been greater. We got the price we wanted though, and Dec got the move he wanted, so it was a move that worked for both parties. “

“We can expect huge challenges on Thursday. Arsenal have always been a really hard team to beat. We had a good result against them in the Carabao Cup at London Stadium but the Premier League is a different competition and it brings out different players.  I’m sure Arsenal will get back to their full-strength team, and going to the Emirates Stadium is never an easy task either.”

Arsenal vs West Ham Prediction:

Arsenal have scored in every EPL game played on their home turf this season, and almost always have been able to put more than one goal in the opponents’ net (the Gunners average 2.4 goals per 90 minutes). It was only against Manchester City that this trend was broken, which is not surprising, as Mikel Arteta has become more pragmatic and proactive in controlling the game, oftentimes adapting to the opponent’s style in the course of the game, at times sacrificing initiative, ball and, as a result, offensive leads in the final third. In the title race, it is important to emphasize getting all the points, in any set-ups and circumstances, by any means. So far, in 9 match days at the Emirates Stadium, they have managed to secure 7 wins in total, while seeing two draws. The Red-Whites’ defense is also good, regardless of the walls in which the game is played – they concede just 0.88 goals per match on average.

For their part, the Hammers appear to be in quite an impressive form, which inspires confidence and positivity before the trip to their neighbors: the Irons have suffered only one defeat in the last seven Premier League rounds, while the winning streak is 2 matches with a total score of 5:0. However, West Ham are still significantly inferior in class to Arteta’s crew and in addition, their performance on the road can not be called convincing (gaining 1.44 points per match). At the same time, Arsenal boast eight consecutive home wins over the Hammers. 

The bottom line is that keeping Arsenal at bay will be very difficult for Kurt Zouma and company, while they will find it even harder to score at the Emirates. The Gunners are in top form, the versatility, chemistry and team synergy of their exceptional performers is a huge threat to any team, even to Liverpool at a formidable Anfield. By the way, right now the Merseysiders are higher in the table and the Red-Whites are additionally motivated to regain the leading position, requiring only one result – victory. Based on all the input values we expect a convincing victory for Arsenal in a match rich in goaltending (the average total of goals in Arsenal matches is 2.9, and in games involving West Ham – 3.4).

Parimatch News staff prediction:

We say: Arsenal will win and the total of the match will be over 2.5 – Yes.

Don`t miss out 👉: East Bengal and Odisha share points in a cagey affair