Ipswich defeat could give West Ham confidence against Arsenal

The Hammers are looking for three points when Arsenal head east for Saturday evening’s Premier League showdown.

IT IS time to look to the positives as West Ham go into their clash with Arsenal at Upton Park.

The Gunners have won only one game in their last five, and their defeat against Ipswich in the Carling Cup semi-final on Wednesday suggest they are a vulnerable team at the moment.

Remember also that the Hammers battled to a 2-2 draw in the corresponding fixture last season.

However, that seems to be the end of the good news for the hopeful West Ham fans.

Arsenal in fact, have the best away record in the division, having won six times already at Blackburn, Manchester City, Wolves, Everton, Aston Villa and Birmingham City.

They have lost just twice – at Chelsea and Manchester United – and though it is true they have only won one in five, they have also only lost one of those games.

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Saturday’s fortunate draw at home to Leeds United will have many West Ham fans hopeful, but Arsenal have a habit of scoring late goals. They did so on Saturday and they did back in October with an 88th minute winner by Alex Song against the Hammers.

West Ham have not beaten Arsenal in nine games, the last time being that late winner for Marlon Harewood at Upton Park in 2006 which prompted a spat between Arsene Wenger and Alan Pardew on the touchline.

Only Rob Green, Jonathan Spector and Danny Gabbidon survive from that winning team, while last season’s Arsenal nemesis – Alessandro Diamanti – has also moved on.

Arsenal, as always, are full of goals, but perhaps Samir Nasri, with 13 in all competitions, will be the one to watch.

You could just as easily be wary of Marouane Chamakh (10), Theo Walcott (9) and Cesc Fabregas (7), so it hard to see how West Ham’s defence is going to contain them.

Last season, West Ham came from 2-0 down to earn a draw with goals from Carlton Cole and Diamanti, and that sort of result may be the best they can hope for this Saturday, especially after their efforts in the Carling Cup semis.

Even that though, may be beyond the Hammers.

Possible team: Fabianski, Eboue, Clichy, Djourou, Koscielny, Fabregas, Song, Wilshere, Nasri, Walcott, Van Persie.


West Ham 1 Arsenal 3

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