Search

Preview: Arsenal vs West Ham Utd

07:30 13 March 2015

West Ham United's Diafra Sakho

West Ham United's Diafra Sakho

EMPICS Sport

Lowdown

As recently as late January, there was a sense of optimism around Upton Park, with the Hammers’ prospects of European football next season still looking fair to good.

However, a run of seven winless games and escalating speculation over the future of manager Sam Allardyce – along with the loss of injured centre-forward Andy Carroll – have combined to effectively kill those hopes off.

West Ham’s failure to hold on to the lead has cost them dearly of late – they were pegged back at home to Manchester United in injury time and had to settle for a 1-1 draw.

And that worrying tendency worsened against Tottenham at White Hart Lane, where the Hammers led 2-0 going into the closing stages and ended up conceding a 96th-minute equaliser.

Having lost their last two games, at home to Crystal Palace and Chelsea, the east Londoners now find themselves marooned in 10th place, with no fears of being dragged into the relegation battle but equally little chance of qualifying for the Europa League.

Key players

In the absences of Carroll and Carlton Cole, the Hammers are relying heavily on Senegalese forward Diafra Sakho, their leading scorer with 11 goals this season.

One of Sakho’s countrymen, Cheikhou Kouyate, has impressed in midfield alongside the likes of Mark Noble and captain Kevin Nolan, with former Arsenal man Alex Song restricted to the bench in recent weeks.

Left-back Aaron Cresswell has made strides since his arrival from Ipswich last year, while the experienced James Collins may be drafted into the side if Winston Reid – who has just signed a new contract at Upton Park – misses out through injury.

Last time

Song’s early goal was disallowed for offside when the teams met at Upton Park just after Christmas and Arsenal took advantage with two goals in quick succession late in the first half.

Reid’s clumsy challenge on Santi Cazorla allowed the Spaniard to open the scoring from the penalty spot and Danny Welbeck steered in a cross from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to make it 2-0 just three minutes later.

Kouyate reduced the deficit early in the second half, heading in a James Tomkins cross, but only a string of superb stops by Hammers goalkeeper Adrian prevented Oxlade-Chamberlain, Cazorla and Alexis Sanchez from stretching the visitors’ advantage further.

Verdict

Arsenal have won their last nine meetings with West Ham – and it’s hard not to see them extending that run into double figures with a 3-1 victory.

Latest Islington Sports News

Saturday, December 3, 2016

A visibly delighted Arsene Wenger praised hattrick hero Alexis Sanchez or his ‘killer instinct’ after his treble routed West Ham United 5-1 at their new home the London Stadium.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Arsenal sent a message to the rest of the Premier League after an impressive display of power and glory at the West Ham United’s London Stadium this evening by winning 5-1.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Islington cruiserweight Joe Seabrook has vowed to raise his game this weekend when he makes his second appearance in the Queensbury Boxing League.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Following another Alexis Sanchez-inspired win over Bournemouth at the weekend, Arsenal maintained their pursuit of the top three – and they will fancy their chances of moving a little closer to the leading trio when they face West Ham at the London Stadium on Saturday.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Two heads are better than one, the saying goes – and that’s certainly been the guiding principle behind the establishment of Blacksmiths FC.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Amy Andrew overcame a bout of flu – and some controversial judging – to clinch victory for Islington BC in their team match in Jersey.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Mark Stephenson grabbed his second goal in as many games but Islington & Camden Under-14s had to settle for a share of the points as they drew 2-2 at Haringey.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Adam Saci led the way for Sobell Karate Club with a double gold medal success in the annual Portsmouth Open tournament.

PROMOTED CONTENT

If your favourite pair of shoes are on their way out, you might be thinking of throwing them away.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now