Arsenal play a second London derby in as many days as they travel to Upton Park to take on West Ham on Sunday on what is both the teams’ last match for the calendar year. The Gunners come into the clash at the back of a nail-biting 2-1 win over Queens Park Rangers while the Hammers will be desperate to end the year on a high after suffering a 2-0 loss to Chelsea on Boxing Day at Stamford Bridge.
Sam Allardyce’s West Ham sit on fifth, just a point above the Gunners. Both the teams however are way off the pace of the League leaders Chelsea, who are simply cruising going into the new year. Arsenal would not like to fall further back in the points tally as Arsene Wenger’s boys will be desperate for a win going into the clash.
Laurent Koscielny is still out injured; the Frenchman has a remote chance to make the squad but would surely not make the starting eleven. Key players Mesut Ozil, Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey, and Mikel Arteta are all out while Olivier Giroud misses out after being red carded against QPR. The striker serves the first of his three-match ban.
It means that WEnger could field a 4-2-3-1 system with Thomas Rosicky and Mathieu Flamini acting as a double pivot in midfield behind the triumvirate of Alexis Sanchez, Santi Cazorla and Oxlade Chamberlain. Theo Walcott is fit too but the winger will have to be content with a place on the bench. Danny Welbeck should lead the line up front on his own
Here is the Possible Arsenal starting lineup
Predictions: West ham will be tough to beat at home while Arsenal will miss Giroud dearly. I expect an entertaining 1-1 draw.