West Ham v. Arsenal
After a European seven goal thriller in Turkey midweek for Arsenal, a nice lackluster performance Sunday at West Ham should be in order for Arsenal right? All joking aside there is no doubt that the key to this game will be consistency. That`s been the problem this season for the Gunners and it will need to be corrected for Arsenal to overtake powerhouse Hull at the top of the table.
The only flaw in Arsenal`s win against Fenerbache is pretty obvious. "I do not deny we did not look very sound defensively in our last game," said Wenger.
"Ideally you want to be fantastic going forwards and fantastic defending. But sometimes you have a price to pay. When you incite your team to go forwards, like we did against Fenerbahce, then you will also be a bit vulnerable defensively as well. If you encourage your team to never get out of their position, it is easier to be sound defensively."
Arsene is looking to keep up the good performances since the defeat to Hull. "It is always a good atmosphere when you play against West Ham," said Wenger.
"The supporters always get behind their team when you go there. It is always committed and interesting.
"But we have created a momentum after the Hull game," the manager concluded.
"We beat Porto and Fenerbahce in a convincing way, had a draw with Sunderland then beat Everton.
"We just want to keep that going now."
West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola is confident that attacking Arsenal is the best way to beat them. 'We are going to try to attack. If you sit and wait they will find a way to beat you anyway as they are very good.
'What teams like Arsenal don't like is when someone tries to hit them back. We will try and play our game and see if they are better than us.'
West Ham Team News:
Mark Noble will not be available for West Ham, as he tore his hamstring in practices this week. Diego Trista will also not be ready for the game, but James Collins is back for the Hammers. Dean Ashton, Kieron Dyer, Jonathan Spector, and Danny Gabbidon are all still out.
Player to watch: Craig Bellamy
On the odd occasions that Bellamy is fit he is a talented striker that can finish chances. And with the Arsenal defense looking very shaky lately he will certainly be looking forward to this match. Our defenders will need to keep a close eye on him.
Arsenal Team News:
Both Kolo and Gallas are in the squad, so that should see Song and Silvestre drop back down to the bench. Sagna has an outside chance of playing, but should be available for the North London Derby. Eduardo will be back in full training in mid-November, but we won`t see Rosicky return till probably the New Year.
Player to watch: Abou Diaby
Abou had a marvelous return versus Fener. He has yet to play a total of 90 minutes this season and he has already racked up a goal and an assist. van Persie should return to the starting lineup but it will be hard to relegate Diaby to the bench. Wenger described him as a complete midfielder this week so I see Abou being involved in the midfield this game.
Match Facts & Stats
Today is a day of 50`s
Robin van Persie is one goal shy of 50 for the club
Walcott will be making his 50th Premier League appearances.
If Sagna starts he will be making his 5oth start in a Gunners uniform, in just over one year at the club
Phil Dowd is the head official for this game. He has officiated 4 games this season handing out 9 yellows and no reds.
I cannot see Arsenal`s attack being slowed down, so I am going to say 4-1 to the Arsenal.
It says fixtures, but there's only one fixture I am looking forward to. Because next up is the lowly Tottenham, a match I am sure all Gooners are looking forward to for all of the obvious reasons.