West Ham United v Arsenal Betting Tips & Predictions - Saturday 7th December 2019

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Previous Match Tips

There were no Premier League matches last weekend but a return of the English top flight is not far away. West Ham will get us back underway this Saturday lunchtime when they host Arsenal for yet another London derby. By being the first side up, the Hammers have the opportunity to climb up to seventh in the table, although this would require a highly improbable five-goal victory. Facing a side of the class of the Gunners, the hosts would no doubt be happy with a win by any score.

Arsenal need an even more emphatic margin to move into the top four, although again, three points would keep their fans more than happy. Optimistic Arsenal fans will note that the Gunners trail fourth place Chelsea by three points and -7 in goal difference. Victory would help put the pressure on the Blues but defeat could see the gap grow to a concerning level. Unai Emery’s men have already slipped to odds of 10/3 for a top four finish so they can’t afford to drop many more points.

Top Tips

Both Teams to Score @ 1/2

Over 3.5 Goals @ 11/8

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

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West Ham United News: Pellegrini plays down Arnautovic bust up

Bobby Moore Graphic at West Ham United's London Stadium
David Holt, flickr

Marko Arnautovic has suffered five injury problems this year so it’s no surprise Manuel Pellegrini is treating him with extra care. The Chilean manager withdrew his star man after just 20 minutes last weekend after he felt a minor twinge in his back. The Austrian was determined to play on though and threw a strop when his number appeared on the fourth official’s board. He made his feelings known to Pellegrini on his way to the bench but his manager insisted that “he was angry for one minute.” Not upset by his player’s temporary rage, expect Arnautovic to return to the starting line-up this weekend.

Nasri impresses on debut

Last weekend Samir Nasri played his first competitive match of football since November 2017. Although he was facing Championship opposition, the Frenchman’s solid performance does count for something. He dictated much of the player in the first half and will have put himself in contention to face his old club this weekend. A lack of competitive action showed later on as the 31-year-old rather ran out of steam, resulting in his eventual substitution. Although lacking in match fitness, the former Gunner doesn’t appear to have lost much of his technical ability and could, in theory at least, have two or three more good seasons in him.

Arsenal News: Suarez links intensify

Arsenal Match Against West Ham United at the Emirates Stadium
wonker, flickr

The last time Arsenal went to sign a player by the name Suarez things turned rather sour. Although they missed out on Luis in 2013, despite their offer of the asking price plus exactly £1, there is growing speculation that they are close to securing a deal for Denis Suarez. The 25-year-old has played just 17 minutes of league football this season so a move away from the Camp Nou would surely offer appeal. ‘Welcome to Arsenal’ videos have already emerged, showcasing his best goals and assists. Should the London club wrap up a deal for the Spaniard soon, he would have an outside change of a debut outing this weekend.

Emery eases Koscielny injury concerns

Laurent Koscielny was named among the starters to face Blackpool on Sunday but was forced to pull out at the last minute due to injury. Having only recently made his return from a seven month absence, the news initially gave Arsenal supporters quite the scare. Emery was quick to play down any fears though, announcing that the defender only needed a short rest. He is hopeful of Koscielny being fit for this weekend but admitted it’s hard to say if the Frenchman will be ready or not.

Analysis: Arsenal need to improve on the road

By beating Blackpool last weekend, Arsenal avoided going five matches without an away win. It’s hard to look too much into victory over League One opposition though, in spite of how comfortable it was. The Gunners were absolutely trounced by Liverpool on their last Premier League test outside the Emirates and before this they were held away at Brighton. They’ve collected seven fewer away points than top four rivals Chelsea this season so it remains a definite area of improvement. Whether that can come in a tough looking London derby remains to be seen.

Defensive absences will produce goals

Arsenal’s Koscielny, Nacho Monreal and Hector Bellerin are all doubtful for this match. It wouldn’t be the first game where Emery has been forced to work with a makeshift backline as defensive absences continue to be felt. It’s something that has not helped Arsenal’s defensive record as 31 league goals conceded is almost twice the total of Chelsea and a huge 21 more than league leaders Liverpool.

West Ham’s defence has been missing the impressive Fabian Balbuena lately. The Paraguayan hasn’t featured this side of Christmas and his team haven’t kept a league clean sheet in that time. Neither defence looks like being particularly solid here so both teams to score (1/2) is a bet you don’t want to ignore, even at relatively short odds.

Arnautovic the key for West Ham

Against Birmingham, West Ham offered as much of a threat in the first 20 minutes with Arnautovic playing than they did in the other 70 with Andy Carroll. The Austrian is such an upgrade on the former Liverpool striker, offering far more cutting edge when he plays. He’s scored three times during his last two outings and has averaged a goal every 154 minutes for the Irons this season. There seems to be little chance that last weekend’s minor back tweak will keep him out of playing here and his involvement could prove vital. Not only is he a tempting option to score anytime (6/4) but he should help this game produce over 3.5 goals (11/8).

Recent Matches

West Ham’s record against Arsenal is a rather woeful one. A 2-0 win in 2015 is the only time the Irons have come out on top during their last 23 meetings with the Gunners. It’s been over 12 years since they beat the north London club at home and will the curse continue this weekend?

25th August 2018: Arsenal 3 -1 West Ham United

A thrilling match at the Emirates Stadium could have easily gone either way but it ended up with the hosts left to celebrate three points. Defences were none existent as both managers seemed content to let their men push forward, resulting in a match that saw 30 efforts on goal. The key moment in the contest came in the 70th minute with the scoreline at 1-1. Alexandre Lacazette smashed the ball across the box and into Issa Diop whose torrid debut was capped off with an own goal.

22nd April 2018: Arsenal 4 – 1 West Ham United

The Hammers stood every chance of clinching a point in this match until their late collapse. Arnautovic had cancelled out Monreal’s strike and with just eight minutes of normal time remaining the scoreline was 1-1. Seven goals in three minutes quickly settled the tie however. Aaron Ramsey grabbed the first while Lacazette netted a brace as they made West Ham pay for failing to capitalise on their first half dominance.

19th December 2017: Arsenal 1 – 0 West Ham United

Arsene Wenger made 11 changes to his starting line-up for this League Cup tie. The risk of rotation paid off as a youthful looking Arsenal booked their place in the semi-finals. It was a match short on quality though with a mere one shot on target seen during the 90 minutes of action. West Ham were especially toothless with neither Javier Hernandez nor Andre Ayew offering any sort of threat to the Gunners defence.

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