Tom Love gives his preview and tip for today's match between Arsenal and West Ham
These two couldn’t have got of to more different starts to the season. The Gunners kicked off the campaign in style with an assured 3-0 win at Craven Cottage whilst the Hammers faltered to a disappointing 2-0 at home to Newcastle, the vibes are polar opposite.
Mikel Arteta is doing a great job at keeping fans onside with his willingness to blood youth here and there along with a slightly more pragmatic and disciplined approach to games. They looked confident all over the pitch against Fulham, the addition of Gabriel at centre half is a good one and they now have William Saliba in the squad which makes competition for places in the Gunners’ backline up for grabs. Kieran Tierney is already a fan favourite at the Emirates for his committed and composed performances.
Where the North Londoners may struggle is from a creative perspective. They ranked in the bottom half last season for shots and didn’t fair too much better on the expected goals either but when you have the extremely clinical Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang then it doesn’t take plenty of opportunities for the ball to end up in the back of the net.
West Ham have been in the mire for a few years now, it’s an unsettling atmosphere from the top down and when results are going their way it can turn rather sour. They ended last season quite well but that was when they could play with freedom as nothing was on the line. When the pressure is on, they rarely have the gumption to get by. They also have a rotten record against the Gunners, losing 10 of their last 11 meetings with them in all competitions.
What’s more, the Hammers tend to falter on the road under David Moyes, failing to win in 9 of their last 10 premier league away days, throw in the fact Arsenal have an excellent long-term record on home turf against non-big six sides and it’s hard to foresee anything but an Arsenal win here. Home is where the heart is for Arteta, he’s overseen 6 wins in his last 7 there and I’d expect that to turn into 7 out of 8 on Saturday evening.
The hosts are naturally quite short at 8/15 but we can boost that to a more appealing 1/1 by chucking under 4.5 goals into the mix and I make that a strong two point play. Moyes won’t be going gung-ho here given the pace Arsenal possess on the break and Arsenal have looked much more solid in their defensive shape under Arteta. We get a whole host of scorelines on our side here and even if the visitors manage to notch we still have 2-1 and 3-1 scorelines on board.