Arsenal vs West Ham Preview
The post-Christmas craze in the Premier League is not over, and one of the most expected matches of the round is set to be played at the Emirates, where Arsenal will host West Ham on Thursday, December 28. The kick-off is scheduled for 20:15 pm local time.
The Gunners remain involved in the Premier League title race but will need a win on Thursday to return to the first place in the table, something to keep in mind in our Arsenal vs West Ham prediction. Although the Hammers are not contenders for the title, they are definitely fighting for a place in the European qualification spots, so the game is not meaningless for them either.
Arsenal are currently second in the Premier League with 40 points after 18 matches. Mikel Arteta’s men are two points behind Liverpool but have a game in hand, so a win at the Emirates is a must if they want to reclaim the first position.
The Gunners have a goal record of 36 scored and 16 conceded. While their defence is the joint-best in England, in terms of scoring output, the Gunners are only sixth. Arsenal have recorded three wins, one draw and one loss in the recent five league games.
We cannot give any Arsenal vs West Ham tips without talking about the injuries, with the hosts set to miss Jurrien Timber, Fabio Vieira, Thomas Partey and Takehiro Tomiyasu.
West Ham Preview
West Ham had a difficult spell in October but have picked up form recently and are now placed seventh in the Premier League with 30 points. Coached by David Moyes, the Hammers have a goal difference of 31 scored and 30 conceded.
The Irons are approaching the match at Emirates on the back of three wins, one draw and one loss in the last five matches. Their latest game was a 2-0 win over Manchester United at home.
West Ham have only one absentee, Michail Antonio, who is out with a knee injury. Despite the recent form and lack of injuries, the visitors are still underrated in the Arsenal vs West Ham odds.
Betting Tips Arsenal vs West Ham
Under 2.5 goals
We do not mean to disappoint the neutral fans, but we do not believe that the London derby will bring about too many goals. Our first Arsenal vs West Ham prediction is under 2.5 goals, with Bet365 offering 2.35 odds on it.
As proven by stats, the Gunners are not the most attacking team out there, and Arteta would rather control the ball than push forward for another goal once his team gets a comfortable lead. In the last five matches, Arsenal have scored nine goals, and four of them came in the 4-3 win over Luton Town.
West Ham, meanwhile, are a fairly defensive team, especially when playing against bigger rivals. Moyes' team conceded seven goals in the last five matches, but the obvious outlier here is the unexplainable 5-0 loss to Fulham. The Hammers will likely park the bus at the Emirates as a point against Arsenal will be enough for them, and this should limit the number of scoring chances.
Both teams to score? No
Continuing with the same line of thinking, we expect at least one team to fail to score on Thursday. The odds on it stand at 1.80 on Bet365, and it will be a winning bet even in case of a 0-0 draw.
Our prediction is that Moyes will have the Hammers sit in a low block from the very first minute and only rarely run out to counter attack. Arsenal are comfortable with keeping possession for long stretches of time, especially at home, so we can see such a scenario being perfect for them as well.
What is more, both teams have been building up fatigue as they were involved in European competitions until recently. With an equally-busy calendar up ahead, both coaches will be incentivised to have their teams save up energy where it is possible. Thus, we can imagine one of the teams finding a breakthrough towards the end of the match but it could be too late for the other to get on the scoreline as well.
Over 3.5 cards
One thing we will not miss on Thursday, though, is fouls, perhaps even lots of them! Of course, fouls typically go hand in hand with yellow cards, and Bet365 gives 1.61 odds on over 3.5 cards between Arsenal and West Ham.
To back it up with stats, the Gunners have booked 10 times in the last five Premier League encounters. The recent visit to Liverpool may be a little misleading, as Arsenal were booked five times in that game alone, but we can also see it as proof that the Gunners do not shy away from fouls if the situation requires it.
West Ham, meanwhile, have seen 11 yellow cards in the recent five outings and their bookings are evenly spread from match to match. Probably playing all-defence on Thursday, the Irons are bound to commit fouls to stop Arsenal from finding a breakthrough. In turn, the hosts may need to commit a few bookable offences to halt the visitors’ counter-attacks.
Please remember to always gamble responsibly. Our Arsenal vs West Ham tips are only suggestions, not a call to action. Always rely on your own judgement in the end.