The Premier League’s 16th matchday concludes on Monday when Arsenal faces West Ham United in a London derby. Both teams boast talented rosters, the Gunners even more so, but neither enters this game in the top 10 in the table as consistency has been absent on both sides this season. Arsenal has yet to win under caretaker manager Freddie Ljungberg with a draw and a loss, and the Gunners are now in 11th place with a 4-7-4 record. The Hammers are in 16th place at 4-4-7 and find themselves just a point above the relegation zone.
TEAM NEWS: West Ham vs Arsenal
West Ham will assess Michail Antonio, who made his first start since August in the win against Chelsea but missed the midweek defeat at Wolves.
Jack Wilshere and Winston Reid trained in the build-up to this game but may not be risked, while Manuel Lanzini and Lukasz Fabianski remain out.
Arsenal is monitoring Hector Bellerin’s fitness after he made his comeback from injury against Brighton.
Centre-back Rob Holding and midfielder Dani Ceballos remain out.
Match: West Ham vs Arsenal
Competition: English Premier league 2019-20
Date: Monday 9th December 2019
Kick-off time: 20:00 PM (GMT)
What TV Channel: Sky Sports Premier League, Sky Sports Main Event, BBC Radio Manchester, SKY GO Extra, BBC Radio 5 Live, TalkSport Radio UK (UK); NBC Sports App, NBCSports.com, NBCSN, Telemundo Deportes En Vivo, Telemundo (USA); beIN Sports HD 2, beIN Sports HD 11, beIN SPORTS CONNECT (Middle East)
The Gunners recently lost to Brighton at home for the first time ever, and things just aren’t getting better. There is a lack of talent in defense, even by mid-table Premier League standards, and it shows. The attack has so much talent yet isn’t converting, and players are in a slump. Can they get out of it here? On paper, they should win. On the field, Arsenal can’t seem to put things together. This could be the game that gets them going in the right direction or continues to see them spiral out of control.
Certainly, the picture does not look pleasant for the Gunners; they are 10 points adrift of the Champions League places – a gap which could have grown to 13 by the time they kick-off against West Ham – and have not won a game in any competition since their unconvincing 3-2 triumph over Vitoria Guimaraes in the Europa League on October 24.
Arsenal possible starting lineup:
Leno; Bellerin, Sokratis, Luiz, Tierney; Xhaka, Guendouzi; Pepe, Ozil, Aubameyang; Lacazette.
Arsenal Premier League form: DDLDDL
Arsenal form (all competitions): DLDLDL
The Hammers have the third-worst attack in the league with 17 goals in 15 games. But the problems run deep. Being without goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski (hip injury) has seen this team struggle, and he’s not supposed to return until closer to the end of the month. Manuel Lanzini is still injured, as in Michail Antonio, meaning the club enters this game without three of its key players. Somebody will have to step up, and it’s time for Felipe Anderson to do so with the Brazilian having a quiet season so far.
Arsenal is very much there for the taking at the moment, though, and West Ham will no doubt draw confidence from the fact that they have already beaten Manchester United and Chelsea this season, half of their wins for the campaign coming against members of the ‘big six’.
Should they add the Gunners’ scalp to that list then they would move level on points with Ljungberg’s side, but they also risk losing three games in a row for the first time at the London Stadium. Not since October 2013 have the Hammers lost three consecutive home league games.
West Ham is in the slightly privileged position of having a relatively kind December schedule due to their match against Liverpool being postponed for the Club World Cup, but with this London derby being followed by a huge clash against fellow strugglers Southampton, Pellegrini knows that only results will keep him in the job at Christmas.
West Ham possible starting lineup:
Martin; Fredericks, Balbuena, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Yarmolenko, Noble, Rice, Fornals; Anderson; Antonio
West Ham form: DLLLWL
Head To Head: West Ham vs Arsenal
West Ham had not won any of their previous 12 home games against Arsenal across all competitions before their most recent such match when Declan Rice scored the only goal of the game in January.
That is still only West Ham’s second victory over the Gunners in their last 24 attempts home or away, though, with the North Londoners winning 18 of those.
The Hammers could win back-to-back matches against Arsenal for the first time since a run of three in a row in 2006 and 2007, while they have not won consecutive home games against Monday’s opposition since 1984.
Match Prediction: ARS vs WAS
Arsenal’s defense is not getting any better and, if West Ham turn up for this one, I think they will win.