Two London sides harbouring ambitions of a top-four Premier League finish lock horns at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday, as Arsenal play host to West Ham United.
The Gunners saw off Southampton 3-0 at the weekend, whereas David Moyes’s side were held to a goalless stalemate by Burnley.
For a short while, it appeared that Arsenal’s misery was set to continue as Southampton shone at the Emirates, but Mikel Arteta’s side proceeded to dominate on home soil once Alexandre Lacazette’s effort found its way into the top corner.
Martin Odegaard scored for the third Premier League game in a row to put the Gunners 2-0 to the good before half time, and having been a rock at the back throughout the afternoon, Gabriel Magalhaes added his side’s third during a comfortable success.
Such a result slightly eased the pressure on Arteta’s shoulders as Arsenal returned to winning ways in emphatic fashion, with that result seeing them move back above Tottenham Hotspur into sixth, but they are only one point clear of the Lilywhites having played two games more.
Only two points now separate the Gunners from fourth-placed West Ham ahead of this battle, and with Manchester United’s clash with Brentford supposedly in danger of being postponed, Arsenal could very well end the midweek round in the top four of the table.
It remains to be seen if the COVID-ravaged United squad will play in midweek, but Arsenal welcome West Ham to the Emirates as the league’s joint-best performers at home this term alongside Manchester City – winning each of their last four on home turf in all competitions without conceding once.
While their London rivals were easing to another three points, West Ham’s efforts at Burnley proved futile, as Sean Dyche’s relegation candidates held the top-four chasing Hammers to a point at Turf Moor on Sunday afternoon.
Declan Rice came close for the visitors, but the Nick Pope and Ben Mee-inspired Burnley defence stood firm to once again dent the Hammers’ chances of Champions League football and cap off a difficult week for Moyes and co.
The Hammers had suffered an inconsequential Europa League loss to Dinamo Zagreb before coming up short at Turf Moor and have only won one of their last five in the top flight, but they are clinging on to that fourth and final Champions League spot – one point clear of Man United.
For all of their away day specialities in the early stages of the season, West Ham have now taken just one point from their last three top-flight games on the road, and neither club nor manager particularly enjoys trips to the red side of North London.
Indeed, Moyes has faced Arsenal 17 times away from home as a manager without winning, and the Hammers have suffered defeat in 10 of their last 11 trips to the Gunners, including a 2-1 loss at the Emirates in the 2020-21 campaign.
Arsenal Premier League form:
West Ham United Premier League form:
West Ham United form (all competitions):
We say: Arsenal 2-1 West Ham United
It is sometimes difficult to know what to expect from this Arsenal side under Arteta, but only Manchester City have performed as well at home this term, which bodes well for the Gunners against an injury-hit West Ham.
Moyes continues to work around numerous absentees in defence and history is not in his favour heading into Wednesday’s game, so we have confidence in Arsenal to leapfrog their top-four rivals with all three points at the Emirates.