Relentless Arsenal will keep pounding at West Ham
Late goal likely in London derby
BT Sport 1, 8pm Wednesday
West Ham's players looked out on their feet as they fended off late Chelsea pressure on Saturday and they know they’re going to have to put in another high-octane 90-minute shift if they are to get any joy from part two of their Premier League derby double-header.
David Moyes couldn’t have asked for any more from his struggling team at the weekend and was rewarded with a 1-0 win courtesy of Marko Arnautovic’s fine strike – the Scot’s first win in five attempts at his new club.
Now Moyes has to demand a similar effort against Arsenal, who are likely to hit the Hammers with far more attacking zip and guile than a flaccid Chelsea managed.
And what we know about the Gunners is that they keep going to the end judging by the late goals they’ve been scoring.
Sunday lunchtime was a case in point. Trailing Southampton early on, Arsenal took their time to get into the game at St Mary’s before ratcheting up the pressure as full-time approached. They were rewarded for their pressure with an Olivier Giroud equaliser.
And inevitably, as Arsenal took risks so chances went begging at the other end as well.
It was exactly the type of match that Arsenal fans are used to, absorbing and frustrating in equal measure, and the short hop to the London Stadium could well unfold in a similar fashion.
Arsenal ought to win, but 24 hours less rest and a West Ham side now full of self-belief following commendable efforts against Manchester City and Chelsea mean the visitors are no certainties. Goals, however, do seem far likelier in this game than was the case on Saturday, and as the game opens up the prospects are bright for a late goal, and that looks the best bet.
This is a fixture that rarely fails to deliver goals – ten of the last 11 clashes between these two London rivals have yielded three goals or more with Arsenal doing the double last year, 3-0 at home, 5-1 away. Five of those nine goals came in the last ten minutes.
And Arsenal are at it again. They’ve scored in each of their last 11 matches and seven of their last eight goals scored have been second-half efforts. They wear teams down because they don’t stop coming at you, and Moyes has had enough run-ins with Arsene Wenger sides to know that better than most.
As for outright betting, punters have to decide if West Ham are a bit of value having clocked Chelsea. They have had an extra day to prepare and Moyes is getting key players back from injury.
They also carry a pacey threat on the counter which bothered Chelsea’s defence and should pose a few problems for Laurent Koscielny and team-mates.
Arsenal have scored in each of their last 11 and will surely add to that total. And this looks like a game which could get very open, especially if there is an early goal.
Anyone fancying a first-scorer bet, incidentally, might want to bear in mind that 9-1 shot Mesut Ozil has bagged the opener in the last three matches between these sides.
Time of last goal between 76:00 and full-time
1pt 19-20 Betway
Cheikh Kouyate (hamstring) misses out. Centre-backs Jose Fonte and James Collins are also absent.
Aaron Ramsey is suffering with a hamstring problem; Jack Wilshere stands by for a first league start. Santi Cazorla and Shkodran Mustafi are also sidelined.
Mesut Ozil has opened the scoring in the last three West Ham-Arsenal fixtures.
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