A London derby is always an exciting affair, but you’d get some odd looks if you tabbed Arsenal vs. West Ham as a top-six clash before the season. But these two clubs look like they have what it takes to stay in that group as West Ham (4th, 28 points) heads down the road to face Arsenal (6th, 26 points) at the Emirates.
Arsenal will be without striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for a second straight match after the club stripped the 32-year-old of the captaincy and suspended him for this match as a disciplinary measure. Instead, Alexandre Lacazette will assume captaincy duties with Granit Xhaka as vice-captain for the forseeable future.
After an eight-match undefeated run, Arsenal has had mixed results of late with three wins and three losses in its last six. With two of those defeats coming against the likes of Liverpool and Manchester United, the Gunners will want to show they can compete with the elite teams in the league. A win against fourth-place West Ham would allow Arsenal to overtake its rivals in the sought-after Champions League place.
For West Ham, while a loss against a direct competitor would be a momentary setback in their Champions League quest, a win does just the opposite. The Hammers’ form is teetering after a goalless draw to Burnley last time out, but victory could reverse their fortunes entirely, pulling them a full four points above fifth-placed Manchester United
How to watch Arsenal vs. West Ham
The match will be carried by NBCSN (English) and Universo (Spanish), with both channels streaming on fuboTV, which is available to new users on a free 7-day trial.
The match can also be streamed on NBCSports.com for authenticated cable, satellite or telco subscribers.
Arsenal vs. West Ham squad news
Without Aubameyang for a second straight match, new captain Lacazette will likely be the man to start up front. Martin Odegaard has been in fine form, slotting in at the No. 10 role.
Emile Smith Rowe was absent from the 2-1 loss to Everton, but fit enough for a spot on the bench last time out against Southampton. So manager Mikel Arteta will have a choice to make on the left wing if Smith Rowe is ready to start since Gabriel Martinelli has shown well in the English youngster’s absence.
Arsenal projected starting lineup (4-4-1-1): Ramsdale — Tierney, Gabriel, White, Tomiyasu — Smith Rowe, Xhaka, Partey, Saka — Odegaard — Lacazette
West Ham’s squad news isn’t so positive. While Aaron Cresswell is one to potentially return from his back problem after three games out, Ben Johnson, Kurt Zouma, Ryan Fredericks, and Angelo Ogbonna all remain sidelined with various injuries.
The biggest choice facing manager David Moyes is the player to deploy in the No. 10 role. Pablo Fornals had been a mainstay in that role for much of the season before Manuel Lanzini came in to start the last two matches, although Fornals replaced Lanzini off the bench in the final 10 minutes of both contests. Lanzini scored a goal in an upset win over Chelsea, but was largely ineffective against Burnley in the goalless draw.
West Ham projected starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Fabianski — Masuaku, Diop, Dawson, Coufal — Rice, Soucek — Benrahma, Fornals, Bowen — Antonio
Arsenal vs. West Ham betting odds & prediction
Odds courtesy of DraftKings
While Arsenal could be unsettled by the very public shaming of its captain, West Ham enters the match with a point to prove. The Hammers have wins against Liverpool (3-2) and Chelsea (3-2), but they’ve also dropped points against inferior teams of late. Still, West Ham should have no problem getting up for this game as they’ve proven against some of the other top teams around them in the standings: victories over Tottenham and Leicester City, and tight one-goal losses to Manchester City and Manchester United.
Though Arsenal is the home favorite, it’s a tight match to call with the bookmakers still offering plus odds on all three moneyline results. Arsenal also sits at plus odds on the half-goal spread, while West Ham gets plus odds on the pick’em line. Goals are also expected in the match, with both teams to score the popular pick, despite West Ham getting shut out by Burnley last time out.
While a draw could provide good value, so too could backing Arsenal’s Odegaard, who is rounding back into form for Arsenal. The Gunners’ creative force is surprisingly without a single assist this season, but he has bagged a goal in each of the last three games as his hard work is finally paying off in front of net. He’s looked a quality player in most matches this season, and there is no reason he can’t be a major influence in this game, including on set pieces.
Pick: Draw +265, Odegaard 2+ shots on target +320
Prediction: Draw 1-1
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