Premier League Betting: West Ham v Arsenal - Fan v Fan Preview



West Ham perspective

Team news

Andy Carroll is pushing for a starting spot after coming on against QPR, meaning Carlton Cole might have to be content with a place on the bench. New Zealand international Winston Reid was knocked out at Loftus Road, but should be fine to resume duties at the heart of the Hammers' defence. Yossi Benayoun, meanwhile, is still awaiting his first start since returning to Upton Park.

Form

The victory over QPR took West Ham to 7th in the table, two points ahead of Arsenal. While it would be unrealistic to expect them to hang around near the head of the table all season, Sam Allardyce's side has certainly turned heads with their impressive start. With the defence looking solid and Kevin Nolan plundering goals from midfield, the Hammers will be hopeful of causing an upset against their more illustrious city rivals.

Head-to-head

West Ham haven't enjoyed recent meetings with Arsenal; the Gunners have won the last four, conceding just one in the process. The last game between these sides at Upton Park ended in a 3-1 win for Arsene Wenger's side, but home fans can take heart from the fact that Allardyce's squad is considerably stronger than that which got relegated in 2010/11.

Best bets

Andy Carroll to score at 3.40. Everyone knows Arsenal don't like it up 'em. The big man should relish his duel with the Gunners defence, and is at a tempting price to find the net.

Half-time draw at 2.20. West Ham will be looking to keep it tight, while Arsenal may be tired after midweek exertions. Back the deadlock at the break.

Kevin Nolan to get a card at 3.00. The midfielder enjoys getting in the face of opposition players, and could be a good pick for a booking.

Score prediction

West Ham 1-1 Arsenal (7.00)

Predicted side


Arsenal perspective: James McNicholas, Gunnerblog.

Team news

If Per Mertesacker recovers from a midweek bout of illness, then I expect him to come in to the backline. Arsenal conceded goals from crosses against both Chelsea and Olympiakos, and his six foot six frame could provide some much-needed help against the aerial threat of Sam Allardyce's West Ham.

Form

Arsenal were made to work for their midweek victory over the Greek side, but will glad to be back on track. Now we need to restore our league form - a bad set of results could see us fall 11 points behind Chelsea already.

Head-to-head

Sam Allardyce has always been a tricky opponent for Arsenal. This West Ham side are built in the image of his Bolton team: tall, powerful players through the middle with quality delivery from the flanks and set pieces. Arsenal's defensive organisation will be sorely tested by the Hammers.

Best bets

Gervinho to score at 3.00. The Ivorian has five goals in his last five games, already surpassing his total for the entirety of last season. Back him to continue that excellent run.

Olivier Giroud to score first at 6.25. Our new striker is likely to be selected as much for the cover he offers at defensive set-pieces as anything else. However, it might be worth backing him to break his Premier League duck.

Both teams to score at 1.62. I can't see either defence keeping a clean sheet at Upton Park.

Score prediction

West Ham 1-2 Arsenal (8.50)

Predicted side