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Preview: West Ham v. Arsenal

West Ham

Upton Park



On Sky

After drawing their first game of the season in a sleepy match in Holland on Tuesday, Arsenal travels to east London hoping to secure the three points needed to vault over our north London rivals ahead of next weeks's Halloween clash.

I'm never very confident going into this match. Last year we won thanks to a late cameo from some bloke from Togo, and the year before that, we survived with a one-nil win courtesy of a rare header from Robin van Persie. West Ham has played very well against us in recent years, and without being fully concentrated for 95 minutes today, the Arsenal players could find themselves as stunned as Jens Lehmann was after Zamora's chip three years ago.

Ouick Vital Quotes:

There is a fantastic interview with the Verminator in the Telegraph today.

Abou Diaby weighed in on the comparison between himself and Patrick Viera.

'He (Vieira) is a big idol for me and I learned a lot from watching him.'

'The way he defends and the way he penetrates defenders to get in the box - he has been a big influence. People make the comparison between us because I'm tall like him but I believe our game is very different. He is much more aggressive than me and much stronger.'

West Ham Team News:

According to West Ham official site they have nobody out injured, but from what I've heard Dean Ashton is definitely out injured, and Danny Gabbidon and Kieron Dyer are doubts. Midfielder, Scott Parker, however is back and will start for Zola.

Player to watch: Scott Parker

After gathering the 08-09 player of the season award for West Ham, Parker has started this season at a snail's pace. He has no goals or assists in 9 starts in all competitions. He has recovered from an injury that kept him out of West Ham's game with Stoke last weekend, and he be looking to use the high profile nature of this game to get his season back on track.

Arsenal Team News:

For once I don't have any new injuries to report, and I even get to say we have a returnee to the squad. Eduardo has recovered from a thigh strain, and he might get pushed straight back into the starting lineup thanks to several other injuries. Bendtner and Samir Nasri might make the bench, but Walcott, Rosicky, Denilson Fabianski, and Djourou are all still out.

Predicted Starting XI: Mannone, Sagna, Gallas, Vermaelen, Clichy, Song, Diaby, Fabregas, Arshavin, Eduardo, van Persie

Player to watch: Whoever starts in goal!

I've never seen anything like this before. Almunia was dropped after a bad start to the season, and even though he is the better keeper, he cannot displace Mannone. If Vito keeps his spot today, then I think Almunia is done at this club.

Match Facts & Stats

West Ham haven't won since opening day.

van Persie has scored in the last three league matches.

West Ham have won only two of their previous 14 Premier League home matches against the Gunners.

Ref Watch:

Chris Foy will be the head official for today's match. He averaged 3.4 cards per game last year.

Match Prediction:

I'm not confident, but I think we can shrug off the poor result from Tuesday and get back to winning ways. Arsenal has been beating the bottom half teams with ease this season, and we will continue that trend tomorrow. 3-1 to the Arsenal.

Next Fixtures:

28/10 (Wed) - Liverpool (H) - Carling Cup

31/10 (Sat) - Tottenham (H) - Premier League

Writer:Brice Coffer
Date:Sunday October 25 2009
Time: 7:38AM

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Massive motivation today. The opportunity to stamp over the heads of (what are THEY doing up here?) Spuds to grab 3rd spot and set us up in a very strong title-chasing position with a game-in-hand. To continue the run-of-form ahead of the arrival of next week's demonic visitors is a must. And the players owe Arsene a decent birthday present after falling asleep in Holland. C'mon Arsenal. I like Zola but we need to "hammer" in another nail for WHU today. And two derby games in a row? Oh the joys of being a London team!
25/10/2009 08:46:00
To add to that, one of L'pool and Man U (or both) shall drop points, after their game today. This is an opportunity for the Arsenal to put some perspective to their title aspirations this season, by improving their points haul with three more. I expect WHU to huff & puff in the opening hour, only to capitulate late on.
25/10/2009 11:13:00
3-1 seems to be the common prediction. I expect it to be honest.
25/10/2009 12:07:00
I'm going for a 2-0 win, both goals coming in the last 15 minutes. If we score early, though, we could get 4-5.
25/10/2009 14:22:00
With the starting lineup you're predicting GK (and I agree with you), we'll be very much short on defensive balance... if we score early, then this won't matter, but if we don't... we could be in trouble. That said, I do expect us to score early, and like Rob says, go on to get 3 or more
25/10/2009 14:40:00
I also predict a 3-1 win, but a hard-fought one! :)
25/10/2009 14:46:00
Liverpool go ahead at Anfield. I wouldn't mind a Scouser win.
25/10/2009 15:17:00
neither of those teams are all that impressive GK, are they? I still contend that it'll either be us or Chelsea who win the league this year. Quick question, if Song gets a yellow card today, will he be suspended for the next league match, or will it apply to the CC tie with 'pool?
25/10/2009 15:26:00
Since the Carling Cup is a FA sponsored competition, then Song's suspension will be served against Liverpool on Wednesday if he gets a yellow today. So it would make sense for him to pick up a booking today. And I agree about the title challenge.
25/10/2009 15:33:00
Mannone, Sagna, Gallas, Vermaelen, Clichy, Song, Diaby, Fabregas, Arshavin, Eboue, van Persie. Bench: Almunia, Nasri, Silvestre, Eduardo, Bendtner, Ramsey, Gibbs
25/10/2009 15:34:00
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