Game week 17 predictions: Arsenal eye top four with Westham in town

 

Arsenal host the Hammers on Wednesday night at the Emirates in a game that will tell a lot of either side's mentality in the top four race. (Photo credit: Sky Sports)

Arsenal vs West Ham
Emirates Stadium
9:00pm

Westham are one of the most exciting teams in the league to watch, they currently sit 4th and barring an unexpected collapse, they look set to go one better than they did last season.

Arsenal keep blowing hot and cold on and off the pitch, the Gunners swept aside Southampton last weekend after surviving the Saints’ opening rage but 3-0 win over a bottom half team is only papers over cracks to be honest.

Just before the Sotton game, Arsenal’s Mikel Arteta announced that club captain Pierre Emerick Aubameyang would not be in the squad due to what the manager called “disciplinary breach” and you wonder if that information was necessary.

Arsenal went on to win the game and returned to the news just two days later, announcing that Aubameyang has been stripped of captaincy, while the manager maintained that there’s no unrest in the squad, he went further to say the former captain won’t be eligible for selection.

Westham are in town and that’s what matters now, on paper you can say the Hammers are ahead of the Gunners. Two points currently separate the two on the table with a win for either side meaning something significant.

With United not playing this weekend due to Covid outbreak in Ralf Rangnick’s squad, either side can create a daylight on United and even dust each other on the table, the Hammers can go five clear of the Gunners with a win while Arsenal can move into 4th for the first time at this stage since 2018.

How will they line up? Mikhail Antonio hasn’t scored since forever in the league, the early season FPL managers’ favorites has blanked for two months and they don’t even know what to do with him; Said Benrahma is another Hammer who has lost steam but Jarrod Bowen and Pablo Fornals are firing.

Defensively, the Gunners must be solid once again to have any chance of beating Westham that already beat Chelsea, Liverpool and both Manchester clubs in cup games this season, Arsenal will have to get things right from defense to attack and they must know when to boot out and when to pass out.

For Arsenal, Bukayo Saka and Martin Odegaard are the outlets with Emile Smith Rowe still preferred to start from the bench. Gabriel Martinelli has been a revelation in place of the ousted captain and they will also expect good showing from Alexander Lacazette who has a good record against Westham.

Arsenal have a very good record on head to head in this fixture with the Hammers only beating the Gunners once in the last five, they however played out an entertaining 3-3 draw at the London Stadium last season.

Verdict: Full time draw

Name

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Footballnus | Stay updated on the latest football news, analysis and betting predictions: Game week 17 predictions: Arsenal eye top four with Westham in town
Game week 17 predictions: Arsenal eye top four with Westham in town
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