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Arsenal vs. West Ham

The Emirates Stadium

01/01/08

15:00

Arsenal V West Ham Preview

Arsenal will want to make sure there's no repeat of last season's antics when West Ham visit on New Years Day. I'm sure I don't need to remind you that West Ham came to Arsenal and won last season. They were the only team to do so.

That's not to say that they deserved it, but you don't always get what you deserve in football (David Moyes will tell you all about that).

Should West Ham do the unthinkable and win, it would give Manchester United to snatch top spot from Arsenal, going into another congested month for the Gunners.

Both teams will go into the game brimming with confidence after excellent wins at the weekend.

Arsenal came from behind to smash Everton 4-1 at Goodison while West Ham did what no other team has done this season and beat Manchester United after going a goal down.

Arsenal last six: P6 W3 D2 L1

Arsenal's single defeat in the last six league games came in the form of a shock defeat at Middlesbrough. Draws away to Newcastle and Portsmouth are the only other two blemishes on the Gunners' record.

West Ham last six: P6 W3 D1 L2

Those two West Ham defeats were to Chelsea and a flying Everton side, and of course one of those victories was over United.

Arsenal could end the day five points clear, but that would take a win at Old Trafford for Birmingham, something that isn't going to happen.

Despite Arsenal sitting top of the league, they have still drawn 25% of their league games this season, something that will need to change if they are to win the league.

Vital Quotes:

Former Gooner Matthew Upson spole to The Mirror ahead of his return to Arsenal. The England international believes his new team has a chance of being a 'top side': 'It's clear to see that when everyone is fit we have a good chance of being a top side.

'We're not too far away from that at the moment, but a couple of results can change things.

'We've seen the character and capability this team actually have on Saturday. It's coming together but we need to be more settled. If we can get a regular starting 11 it will help.

'We are getting good results, but I think we can get very good results with a more settled structure. This win should give us a lot more confidence and belief and help us climb the table.'


Arsenal gaffer Arsene Wenger spoke of the need to keep on winning if his team are to win the Premiership this season: 'It could be 90 points [to win the title] because Manchester United look like they can win games wherever they want.

'We need to keep the pace up. West Ham will have gained confidence from beating United.

'It's important we focus and not think that because we won 4-1 at Everton we just have to walk out to win the game.'

Arsenal Team News:

Arsenal will once again be without Robin van Persie after Arsene Wenger revealed that he will be out for at least 10 days with a muscle problem.

Gilberto Silva will also miss out. The midfielder has returned to training but is still short after suffering from flu.

Denilson returns after serving a three match ban following his red card at Blackburn in the Carling Cup.

Arsene Wenger has opted to rest Bacary Sagna and draft in England Under-21 international Justin Hoyte to cover.

Theo Walcott returns after suffing from illness, but is unlikely to start against The Hammers.

The Arsenal boss suggested there will be some changes from the team that beat Everton. He told Arsenal TV: 'There will be small changes.We try to keep the stability in the side but keep the freshness as well with some players coming in.'

Player to watch: Eduardo Da Silva

The nippy striker opened his Premiership account on Saturday with a brace against Everton. Nine goals from twelve starts is some return from a player in his first season at the club.

Wenger predicted that he would shine in the second half of the season, so expect him to start again and put in another fantastic performance.

West Ham Team News:

You've got to feel for West Ham. It wasn't so long ago that a large chunk of my previews was Arsenal's injury list. This time it's West Ham's turn to be missing a crop of players.

Craig Bellamy, Kieron Dyer and Bobby Zamora are definantly out.

Julien Faubert, Matthew Etherington and Lee Bowyer are all almost certain to miss out while there is also serious doubts over Nolberto Solano, Scott Parker and Freddie Ljungberg.

Player to watch: Dean Ashton

The England striker has netted three goals in his last three away games for West Ham. He's a player I rate highly.

He made a pest of himself against united and I think that if West Ham can keep him fit he'll score the goals to take them places.

Match Facts & Stats

Arsenal haven't beaten West Ham at home since January 2003

If The Gunners win it'll be the first time they have done the double over West Ham this decade

Arsenal have never lost when Adebayor has scored

If Diaby comes on for Arsenal it'll be his 50th game for the club

West Ham are still the only away team to win at The Grove

They were also the only side to do the double over Arsenal last season

Ref Watch:

Mr Chris Foy will do the business in black on Tuesday. He has issued 37 cards in his 11 Premiership games this season (1 red, 36 yellow). That's an average of just over 3 cards a game.

Match Prediction:

It'll be a close game. The Hammers have been tight at the back in recent games, and they'll not come with the intention of playing flowing football. It could take a few more punts ip the park to get the goals for Arsenal, and West Ham are dangerous at set pieces, as they showed against United. 2-2

Next Fixtures:




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The Journalist

Writer: Nick Simmonett  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday December 31 2007

Time: 5:42PM

Your Comments

For those of you who're going to the ground tomorrow, can you give Freddie a big round of applause (if he plays) on my behalf please.
Louisa
Are you a fan of the socks and boxers he models Lou? ;-)
simmy8_2000
Hahaha Simmy, no, though true Freddie's even cooler (or hotter, rather) than David Beckham in boxers. He's a great player who gave his best years to the Arsenal. We didn't have a testimonial when he left and it's the first time that he comes back. I'm sure you guys will give him a warm reception (also considering he didn't threaten us with any goal last time we went on to win at West Ham). Would be fantastic if the fans could sing "We love you Freddie" one last time.
Louisa
Freddie? Beckham? They're not men! I can't see Gooners singing his name again to be honest. He did give us 9 years, but his passing comments angered a lot of people, myself included. He still has my thanks for all he did for us, but he lost my respect.
simmy8_2000
can't see West Ham making it two in a row!
merlin
2-2!!! beg to differ.. 3-1 to THE ARSENAL.
McGooner
Hey Simmy, Freddie did admit he was wrong in making that comment about Arsenal's "lack of ambition". Fair play to him.
Louisa
The Mac will be on your trail!
Goofle
Simmo at the end of the season, i want you to put all your 38 predictions together and see how many points we actually end up with according to your league table, and i wont be suprised if we'd be relegated lol..
luckys_10
'Appy new year to one and all. Here's to a fantastic year for The Arsenal!
simmy8_2000
With our home form and West Ham's injuries.. it really looks like an Arsenal win.. but they did beat us last year so we have to be incredibly careful and definitely should not underestimate them. That said.. it should be 2-0 to us.
arsenalrulz4ever
With Bellamy, Dyer and Solano out we should be able to win, 3-1 is my prediction and please give Freddie a round of applause if he does play. I've always loved that No.8 shirt with his name on it.
stukazufuss
mate, 2 - 2 is no good. West ham will tighten up the game but i can assure you it wont end in a 2 all draw. 2 - 0 to the arsenal. Good to see sagna is getting a rest, i always have faith in justin hoyte. I hope to see wallcott come on and make a difference and yer cheers to freddie cant forget the moments he gave us :) Toure and eboue's last premier league match before their of for a month :O
MikeLebo
Happy new year, and good luck today. ...but do you think we could borrow a couple of your players for a while...
pompeycarpet
LOL pompeycarpet, we do have player going to ACN too but not a lot like you guys :p. 2-2 ain't realistic in today's game. It will be a late win for us of 1-0 if Eduardo doesn't start otherwise we will get more goals if he does start.
CoastarianGooner
I think you're wrong Simmo, I reckon we'll get a rousing rendition of "We love you Freddie". Even when he was utterly useless towards the end of his Arsenal career he still got support. His fantic goals and trophiy winning performances will far outweigh a couple of ill advised comments imo.
Rocky7
Btw, when was the last time you predicted a win dude? Come on, get on our team for a little bit ;P
Rocky7
Freddie should get some love today. He did a brilliant job while playing for us. One of my favorite players back dem days..... A bit off topic now...Fulham are 1 up already..hope chelsea get nothing today.LOL.
CoastarianGooner
Does anybody know how or where i can watch the match on the internet 2day?
Frank Cesc
Eduardoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!! WOW!!
CoastarianGooner
Well that didn't take long!! Get in Eduardo!
simmy8_2000
Adebayorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr my prediction was right!!!!!! 2-0.
CoastarianGooner
Frank Cesc, sorry for the late reply, I've just come on here. You can try this site: http://www.myp2p.eu/broadcast.php?matchid=4123&part=sports
Louisa
CoastarianGooner you've spoiled it for me - as usual I'm having some delay with the web TV. Still waiting to see Ade's goal now... But great to be 2-0 up! Oh and I miss Kolo already!!
Louisa
Great start, lets get a third :)
AB_Arsenal
I've just seen the 1st half hightlights. Ade was like 2 yards from the byline, at a tight angle like 10 degrees, and he somehow found a way to score?! Crazy!!
Louisa
Sorry Louisa. I guess God punished me for spoiling for you as I lost electricity from 26th minute of the game just came when the game is at 48th minute. LOL
CoastarianGooner
I'm glad though that I didn't miss any goals :p
CoastarianGooner
Walcott is on. I hope he gets a goal today and let it be a good 2008 for him.
CoastarianGooner
LOL You just missed how Freddie got a standing ovation from the crowd when he came off injured. Good game from both sides though.
Louisa
Walcott on....lets hope he can get us another goal.
AB_Arsenal
Dean Ashton's coming on soon, he's a threat.
Louisa
Is it just me who thinks that Anton Ferdinand has improved a hell of a lot? Maybe beating his big brother gave him great confidence.
Louisa
Walcott needs to do more strength training for his legs his shots are hopeless especially after he does all the hard work to get into the good positions.
AB_Arsenal
Good win, was not expecting it :)
AB_Arsenal
I was expecting the win AB_Arsenal. True that Walcott has to work on his shots but he showed some nice flicks. Overall we played brilliant footy once again and all the players stepped up their game. Hoyte did some few blunders but he was good. Didn't expect Eboue will play the way he did today, he made me proud with some moves. Yay!!!!! Still top despite manure winning 1-0.
CoastarianGooner
Cheers Louisa !!
Frank Cesc
wonderful play by the players...fabregas back to his ususal stuff, hleb too was fine in the cameo.. adebayro has just scored THE GOAL OF THE SEASON.. it defied the law of physics from the angle he took the shot, he curled the ball from the touchline with the outside of his foot running at full speed.. unbelievable.
McGooner
Rosicky was every where today and csec looks like he got his game back; dictating play, putting some neat passes and just asserting himself.
Youngest in Charge
Yup, we were brilliant today. Probably the best footy we've played for sometime now. Cesc, Rosicky were all good. Glad to see things are going good for us at the right moment.
WouldYouBelieveIt?!
It looked too easy because of the early goal.. nice to get a prediction right!
arsenalrulz4ever
arsenal.com's running the vote for Player of the Month now. Hard to choose based on Dec performances, really. I'd say give it to Almunia for the first time!
Louisa
happy days and happy new year!!!! amazing start to 08!
TR7
Kind of bad news hearing from Wenger that Alex Song has been selected for Cameroon in the ACN.. so.. that leaves us with 3 CBs.. Wenger still says that he wont dip into the transfer market.
arsenalrulz4ever
It is a pitty Song was called up, I think he was going to be Wenger's choice to partner Gallas in Toure's absence. We do still have Gilberto who can play CB, and Sagna if needed.
simmy8_2000
Another three points for the gunners then .. Just make sure you keep winning.. the rest of the Premership are behind you (well all except your neighbours of course) Couldn't bear it if you slipped up and gave Man U a sniff and I can see Chelsea or Liverpool causing you too much of a threat ..
Chix
What I sad few days ago.... Dudu just started....Bravo Eduardo
andycroat28
Spammers were like rabbits in the headlights today, they offered nothing and were comprehensively outthought, outplayed, and outfought. When we are in this rampant form few can step up to match and a tired, injury ravaged wet spam aint one of them, another team we've done the double over and last season they did it to us, the amount of improvement shown from last season is tremendous, well done lads. Sp*rs on the other hand pffffffftttttt! A fine start to the New year all round!!
nikolaijns
Another easy victory. Welcome to 2008 Arsenal!
sandgroanun
Did you guys see Gus Poyet's interview on skysports.com? He's so *****ed with the defensive performance, i.e. leaking 2 goals on set-pieces, that I think he said "Enough, that is enough" like 10 times. He said he'd make changes to the team, but I think for them to keep Berbatov is a really tough ask. All that great work he's doing up front goes wasted with that kind of defence. Just what's he doing there? You have to feel for him.
Louisa
Good win. We went up early, and its good to see Dudu get another goal. His finishing is truly lethal.
prits
Been to the Arsenal-mania site after today`s game to see what they had to say and found out they got hacked...by an everton supporter. LOL
rdcgunner
LOL rdcgunner, for real? I just checked the site and I see nothing of that sort mentioned. Paste the link mentioning the hacking part please.
CoastarianGooner
For those who fear lacking CBs when Song leaves too then bear in mind that Sagna can be drafted in there and Diarra/Hoyte can take RB.
CoastarianGooner
anyone else notice the fact that lehmann actually stood and celebrated the 1st goal with hleb on the bench and was joking around with diaby during the match.. hmmm, that was the 1st time i'vve seen him do that in a few months.. probably, he'll play this weekend
McGooner
CoastarianGooner, in theory Sagna, Hoyte and Gilberto could all stand in as CB's. Flamini, Diarra, Hoyte can back up as LB or RB. Yes we have a few players who could maybe do a job for a game or two. I'm just not sure if that'd fill us/Almunia/rest of defence with confidence. Leave it up to Arsene who knows best anyway. Also hope Flamini would provide even more protection to the defence. And pray Gallas stays healthy and fit.
Louisa
McGooner, really! I missed that part (and Ade's goal!) when my web TV went dead. I only saw how uninterested he looked when the camera stayed on him for like quite a few seconds before cutting to Almunia's focused face in goal in the 2nd half. Maybe he's happy that he might get to play, maybe he's been receiving favourable calls from some clubs back home. Who knows!
Louisa
Off topic but quite interesting - Arseblog reports that Carlos Vela is back with Arsenal now. But they're having a winter break in Spain aren't they? So I'm not sure if he's just training here or back for good, which would be cool as we've been interested in seeing the kid in flesh for some time. With RvP and Eduardo most lethal up front, I hope/guess Arsene wouldn't keep pushing them to LM. So we lack left-footed players to back up Rosicky in LM. I read somewhere that Arsene sees Vela ultimately as a striker (and it says striker in his arsenal.com youth player profile) but just wants Osasuna to put him on the left wing to learn the trade, just like what he's doing with Theo on the right. So could he still be an answer to the left-wing issue we've been talking about? Really curious this one.
Louisa
my prediction was right 2 - 0 :) Eduardo is lethal
MikeLebo
Arsenal-Mania has already been like this for quite some time...hopefully the admins get to fix it soon, it is arguably the best football supporter's (one team) site on the web.
entropy13
Totally off topic here but I loved hearing Mr Superfly himself Curtis Mayfield belting out 'move on up' after the game today, that goes someway to negating having to put up with bloody Presley croon that 'dad rock' dribble at the start, we play with funk groove and soul and it's about time any tunage played reflected this, Nice 1 Arsenal bring tha noise!!
nikolaijns
dudu already has scored 10 goals this season !!!!!!!!
HENRY`14
I half agree Niko, that Curtis Mayfield tune is a personal favourite, but the Elvis song has really grown on me. Personally, I got the Cure unplugged album for xmas and I think they should just play that start to finish before kick off. Failing thatEddie Floyd's Knock on Wood would do it!
Little Dutch
Louisa,Sagna playing in CB will fill any defence in confidence. That lad can defend!
CoastarianGooner
 

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