Fortress Emirates maintained at West Ham's expense
It's sixth versus fourth at the Emirates on Wednesday evening, with Arsenal looking to both leapfrog West Ham United into the last Champions League spot and take advantage of Manchester United's postponed clash with Brentford. Although form has been erratic under Mikel Arteta once more this season, the Gunners boast the joint best home record in the division alongside Manchester City, racking up 19 points from eight games. The Hammers are having a bit of a wobble at the moment, and the hosts are well placed to exploit that. Read our preview here:
Øde to joy
After another internal breach of discipline by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang saw Arteta lose his patience by suspending him from first team action, the cudgels in attack have been taken up by Alexandre Lacazette and Martin Ødegaard, with the pair on the scoresheet during their routine 3-0 dismantling of Southampton at the weekend. Only left-sided defender Sead Kolašinac is definitely out in addition to the Gabonese striker, though Bernd Leno is likely to be on the bench for the foreseeable, given Aaron Ramsdale's match-saving displays between the sticks in 2021/2022. Takehiro Tomiyasu has adjusted brilliantly to life in England on the right, and has started to form a promising partnership with Bukayo Saka down that flank. However, a lot will still hinge on the creativity of Emile Smith Rowe and Ødegaard, with the latter's goalscoring streak proving extremely timely.
The Irons' stalemate with Burnley was a dull affair, and David Moyes' men must raise their game against the less vaunted sides in the division if they are to maintain their admirable hold on fourth behind the title chasers. The east London chief has no fresh injury or Covid concerns at the time of writing, though he remains without the services of Kurt Zouma, Angelo Ogbonna, Ben Johnson, and Ryan Fredericks, whilst Aaron Cresswell should at least make the matchday squad. Attacking midfield pair Said Benrahma and Manuel Lanzini could both do with a rest, having looked jaded and bereft of their normal incisive ideas at Turf Moor. Pablo Fornals is in line for a recall on the left of the three behind Michail Antonio, and the manager will have one eye on the transfer window opening in a fortnight to make at least one addition to take the pressure off his only out-and-out forward. Croatian international Nikola Vlašić has had a slow start to his Barclays Premier League career, but is a major threat in between the lines to the home side if given the time and space to do damage.
Fourth place comforts
Moyes has proven time and time again in 2021/2022 that West Ham simply cannot be written off in matches where they're the underdogs, having triumphed over Leicester City, Man Utd, Tottenham Hotspur, Man City, Liverpool, and most recently Chelsea across all competitions. A positive result at the Emirates could potentially complete the unique 'set', but they will come up against an Arsenal side flexing their muscles in their own backyard. betway have odds of 2.10 for a win to temporarily put the hosts in a position they used to call their own for years.