Arsenal Match Preview
By Tom Dowsett
Friday 11 Jan 2019 18:39:00
Browse all Match Previews articles


West Ham United's 2-2 home draw against Brighton and Hove Albion ten days ago took them back into the top half of the Premier League table and they will attempt to lift themselves further up the standings with three points here, as they return to league action following a week's break when Arsenal visit Stratford for a London derby in another early kick-off.

Although both teams won their respective FA Cup ties last weekend, the Hammers go into this game looking for their first top-flight victory since 27 December but have to go back even further than that for their last home success: the 3-2 win over Crystal Palace.

Unai Emery's side will want to do the double over the East Londoners this season but the last visit here for the Gunners ended in a goalless draw under Arsene Wenger's stewardship.

The visitors will be confident going into the contest though, as their last league outing ended in a 4-1 home success over fellow London club Fulham on New Year's Day.

Marko Arnautovic was substituted after only twenty minutes in the FA Cup victory against Sky Bet Championship outfit Birmingham City a week ago after complaining of a back problem. That was followed later this week by the news that the club won't let him leave East London amid rumours of a "big money" move to China. Therefore, it will be interesting to see what sort of reception he will get if he is indeed involved in this game.

Fabián Balbuena faces another eight weeks on the sidelines, following the news that he requires surgery after he picked up an injury in the 2-0 defeat to Watford on 22 December.

Manuel Pellegrini is set to make a whole raft of other changes for this game including giving Samir Nasri his Premier League debut after he started his first game against Garry Monk's men last weekend.

Lukasz Fabianski, Pablo Zabaleta, Mark Noble and Andy Carroll could also return while Lucas Pérez is an option to partner Carroll upfront if Arnautovic is dropped.

For the second consecutive week, Saturday's match is a 12:30pm kick-off. However, this time it is due to the match being televised by Sky Sports. Live coverage gets underway at 11:30am and the referee is Jonathan Moss.

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