BBC football expert Mark Lawrenson has stated his prediction for the Premier League clash between West Ham United and Arsenal this weekend.
The Hammers recently suffered a 1-0 league defeat at Manchester United, but they are still within three points of fourth-placed Chelsea with a game in hand.
David Moyes’ side are scheduled to host the Gunners on Sunday, and Lawrenson feels the club will be determined to avoid a second-straight defeat.
The Gunners are currently seven points behind the Hammers in the 10th spot, but they are unbeaten in the last three games in the top-flight (two wins and one draw).
Lawrenson has predicted a share of the spoils (1-1) in the London derby.
He told BBC Sport: “This feels like a big game for West Ham, as a test of their top-four aspirations, and I think the underlying message from their manager David Moyes will be ‘let’s not lose it’. All his side need to do is stay in the mix.”
“Moyes did not quite get the balance right last week when West Ham lost at Old Trafford, so he might tweak a few things to ensure they offer more of a threat.
“It will be interesting to see how Arsenal approach it too. They were attack-minded against Tottenham last week and were rewarded with the three points.”
The Hammers have had a poor league record against the Gunners over the years, and they have picked up only three points from the last six meetings (one win and five losses).
They produced a poor display at Old Trafford last weekend where they barely threatened on goal and finished without a single shot on target.
Moyes’ side need to show more attacking intent against the Gunners, who have conceded seven goals in 2021 through unforced defensive errors.
The Hammers have the slight advantage as the Gunners were in action in midweek, but the visitors will be determined to secure a second successive derby win.
They were poor against Olympiacos on Thursday night, where they missed five clear-cut chances on goal and ended up losing by a 1-0 scoreline.
The Gunners still qualified for the Europa League quarter-final with a 3-2 aggregate win, and manager Mikel Arteta will want a strong response from his players.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com