Preview: West Ham v Arsenal

West Ham could unveil new loan signing Wayne Bridge this West Ham v Arsenalweekend in their attempt to climb off the bottom when they host Arsenal on Saturday.

A 2-1 win in the first leg of their Carling Cup semi-final against Birmingham midweek, combined with the star signing of Bridge, has manager Avram Grant confident his side can maintain their momentum in the English Premier League affair.

Conversely, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will be fuming at his side’s 1-0 capitulation against Championship outfit Ipswich Town on Wednesday in their first-leg Cup semi, and will no doubt be out for redemption at Upton Park with the full three points to continue putting pressure on league leaders Manchester United.

Arsenal trail United by four points, and have played a game extra than their rivals, but are third on the table and are arguably the likeliest threat to pip the Red Devils for the title.

West Ham can escape the relegation zone with a win and their league form has lifted in recent times, with wins over Wolves and Fulham, a draw with Everton and a 5-0 calamity against Newcastle in their past four.

The Hammers have lost just one of their past six league matches at their Upton Park home.

Arsenal’s defensive depth will again be tested, with key defenders Sebastian Squlliaci and Thomas Vermaelen on the sidelines due to injury, along with goalkeeper Manuel Almunia.

Manuel da Costa, Herita Ilunga, Lars Jacobsen and Benni McCarthy, who is rumoured to be leaving the club in this month’s transfer window, fill the Hammers’ injury list.

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