West Ham vs Arsenal predictions and match preview

West Ham vs Arsenal predictions and match preview

Arsenal travel to West Ham United on Saturday looking to close the gap on the Premier League’s top four. 

The Gunners are currently three points behind London rivals Chelsea but could go level with the Blues, for a short time at least, with a win over the Hammers.

West Ham, meanwhile, are 10th in the league having been unable to find any consistent form so far this season, but could go joint-seventh with a victory against Unai Emery’s side.

Read on for West Ham United vs Arsenal live stream options, team news, predicted XIs, stats and TV channel info.

When is West Ham vs Arsenal?

Competition: Premier League

Venue: London Stadium

Date: Saturday, 12 January

Kick-off: 12:30 PM GMT

Match preview

After enjoying a long unbeaten run, Unai Emery’s Arsenal seem to have lost all consistency. The Gunners went on a run of just one win in five games in the second half of December, crashing out of the League Cup with defeat to Tottenham and suffering a 5-1 mauling at the hands of Liverpool.

However, 2019 has been a little kinder to Emery, with his side beating Fulham 4-1 on New Year’s Day before breezing past Blackpool in the FA Cup third round. That win over Fulham has Arsenal hot on the heels of fourth-placed Chelsea, who sit just three points ahead of the Gunners in that final Champions League spot.

West Ham, meanwhile, have been a real ying and yang side so far this season. Manuel Pellegrini had a tough start to the season, but a run of five wins in six games in December elevated the Hammers into the top half of the Premier League table.

Since that run, West Ham have lost away to struggling Burnley and drawn 2-2 at home to Brighton before beating Birmingham City 2-0 in the FA Cup. Tenth place is a respectable position to be in at this point for Pellegrini’s side; it could get a whole lot better with a win over Arsenal on Saturday.

Where can I watch live? 

UK viewers can watch West Ham vs Arsenal on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League, channels 401 and 402 respectively on Sky and channels 501 and 502 respectively for Virgin Media users.

Arnautovic off? The words West Ham should have heeded

It’s all been kicking off with Marko Arnautovic recently; rumours of a move to the Chinese Super League were addressed by the Austrian’s brother and agent, Danijel, who said the forward is ‘looking for a new challenge’.

Danijel Arnautovic said: “West Ham bought Marko for peanuts,” the statement read. “They paid £20million for him, which is nothing in the current market.

“They bought him to keep them in the Premier League last season and he did that. He took every award at the club; best player, signing of the season and the players’ award.

“Now West Ham have a fantastic offer. It is close to double what they paid for him.

“He wants to go to a new market and challenge for titles. This is what he wants.

“It is his great desire that West Ham accept the offer from China.”

The club responded to this with a post on their Twitter account that read: “Marko Arnautovic has a contract and we fully expect him to honour it. He is not for sale.”

West Ham fans have been stung before, though, and are now comparing the situation to that of Dimitri Payet, who left the club in 2017 despite the club insisting he would remain in London.

Head-to-head

Saturday’s game will be the 140th clash between West Ham and Arsenal, with the north Londoners having the superior record over their capital rivals.

The Gunners have won 66 ties to West Ham’s 34 and have only tasted defeat against the Hammers once since 2007 – a 2-0 defeat at the Emirates in 2015.

Arsenal wins: 66 Draws: 39 West Ham wins: 34

Team news

Marko Arnautovic should be fit to play after recovering from a back problem, while Mexican striker Javier Hernandez has a slim chance of being included in the matchday squad.

Pellegrini, however, will be without Andriy Yarmolenko (Achilles), Winston Reid (knee), Jack Wilshere (ankle), Manuel Lanzini (knee), Fabian Balbuena (knee), Ryan Fredericks (ankle) and Carlos Sanchez (knee) on Saturday.

Samir Nasri could make an appearance against his old club.

For Arsenal, Unai Emery will be delighted to welcome defenders Hector Bellerin, Laurent Koscielny, Shkodran Mustafi, Nacho Monreal and Konstantinos Mavropanos back to training, with all five pushing for a place in the squad.

Mesut Ozil is also returning to fitness, although the Gunners will be without Henrikh Mkhitaryan (broken metatarsal), Rob Holding (knee) and Danny Welbeck (ankle).

West Ham vs Arsenal predicted XIs: how everyone thinks the sides will line up

1. Ozil to return, while wantaway Aaron Ramsey drops out

Mesut Ozil missed Arsenal’s 4-1 win over Fulham on new year’s day, but is working hard for a return to Unai Emery’s squad on Saturday. The Evening Standard reckon he will once again take up creative duties in the Arsenal midfield, while they also predict that wantaway star Aaron Ramsey will drop to the bench against West Ham.

They also believe Emery will stick with a three-man defence, with the fragile fitness of Arsenal’s defenders requiring more numbers to provide cover.

Evening Standard‘s predicted Arsenal XI (3-4-3): Leno; Mustafi, Sokratis, Koscielny; Bellerin, Torreira, Guendouzi, Monreal; Ozil, Lacazette, Aubameyang

2. Arnautovic to retain his place

In the same article, Tom Doyle believes Manuel Pellegrini will stick with Marko Arnautovic, despite the intense transfer speculation surrounding the Austrian star.

With seven Premier League goals so far this season, Arnautovic remains vital to the Hammers hopes of a top-half finish and the club are somewhat short of replacements for his qualities.

Meanwhile, Andy Carroll is also expected to start up front once again after his return to fitness, and will be tasked with giving an Arsenal defence extremely short on match fitness a real physical test.

Evening Standard’s West Ham predicted XI vs Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Fabianski; Zabaleta, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Obiang, Rice; Snodgrass, Arnautovic, Anderson; Carroll

3. Monreal and Mustafi to make a much-needed return for Emery

The Daily Express are predicting a big defensive reshuffle from Unai Emery, who will finally be getting some of his senior defenders back fit after a mini-crisis.

According to their predictions, the Gunners will move Nacho Monreal and Shkodran Mustafi alongside Sokratis to form a three-man centre-back partnership, finally giving the Greece international some experienced support.

The Express also think Emery will throw Hector Bellerin straight into his right-wing-back position following his return to training, while Alex Iwobi may continue behind Aubameyang and Lacazette ahead of Mesut Ozil.

The Daily Express’ predicted Arsenal XI vs West Ham

4. Nasri to miss out against former club

Samir Nasri made his Hammers debut in their 2-0 FA Cup win over Birmingham City last week but given his lack of match practice over the past year, he is expected to drop back down to the bench for the visit of his old club.

Football.london‘s Sam Inkersole writes: “Samir Nasri played less than an hour against Birmingham, as was to be expected, and whether he showed enough to be included from the start against Arsenal is up to you to decide.

“The Frenchman will be desperate to play against his former club but Pellegrini will not want to give Nasri too much too soon having not played football for more than a year.”

Pablo Zabaleta and Mark Noble, meanwhile, sat out that game, while the latter only came off the bench in their last league game against Brighton.

However, Inkersole reckons Pellegrini will restore these two seasoned veterans back to his starting line-up, with their experience being vital.

Squawka prediction

Arsenal are finally welcoming back some of their key defenders, while the form of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will always make Unai Emery’s side a threat. They will just about have too much for West Ham here.

West Ham 1-2 Arsenal