Arsenal welcome West Ham United to the Emirates Stadium a mouth-watering London derby on Saturday Night Football.
Depending on results earlier in the day, Arsenal could return to top spot with victory whereas West Ham are searching for their first league win of the season.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos is a doubt for Arsenal after missing last weekend’s away win at Fulham with a calf injury.
Granit Xhaka (ankle) plus David Luiz (neck) are also doubtful as Pablo Mari (ankle), Shkodran Mustafi (hamstring), Emile Smith Rowe (shoulder), Calum Chambers and Gabriel Martinelli (both knee) all remain ruled out despite closing in on a return to fitness.
West Ham have a near full squad available for selection with exception of former Gunner, Jack Wilshire who is sidelined with an ankle injury.
- Arsenal have lost just one of their last five meetings against West Ham (W4, L1).
- West Ham have won just one of their last 13 trips to the Emirates Stadium (W1, D1, L11)
- After contributing two assists last weekend at Fulham, Willian is the joint highest Brazilian Premier League playmaker in history alongside Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino with 35 assists apiece.
- Arsenal are unbeaten in three of their last five opening away games in a new Premier League season (W2, D1, L2)
- West Ham have won just one of their last five opening away trips in a new league campaign (W1, D1, L3), although their only win in those such games came at Arsenal in August 2015, whilst their three defeats were against the Gunners’ fellow ‘Big Six’ members in Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool.
Arsenal were superb last week once they negotiated a ferocious start from Fulham because they were able to just simply dominate and capitalise on acres of space gifted to them by diabolical defending, although this game feels like an acidic test of whether this Arsenal team has definitely improved or whether they just got lucky to face a poor team in their opening game.
West Ham have already shown what they’re capable of when at their best yet also at worst after a sloppy opening performance against Newcastle, before thumping Charlton in midweek in Carabao Cup which indicates that it is tough to work out which Hammers team will turn up here because if its the latter then we have a cracker in store.
I however am going to go for an Arsenal win because although West Ham will make life difficult for them, they are prone to sloppy play at times and this is one aspect which could be the Hammers’ downfall if switch off even for a moment throughout this encounter.
Prediction: Arsenal 2-1 West Ham
Result: Arsenal 2-1 West Ham