Arsenal match preview

Barclays Premier League
1 January 2008
Referee: Chris Foy (Merseyside)

WHUTV - Full audio commentary, plus see Freddie Ljungberg and Matthew Upson talking about the return to their former club. There is also a special 12-part review of 2007 by Tony Gale and Tony Cottee, with all the year's highlights included. You can also watch full match action from the 2-1 win at Manchester United.

Team news

Having defeated the champions on Saturday, West Ham United will look to make it a memorable start to the new year with victory against the league leaders on Tuesday. Still only the club to win at the Emirates Stadium, Alan Curbishley's side would be more than happy to settle for a repeat of last year's 1-0 triumph. In the first meeting this campaign, Arsenal won 1-0 at the Boleyn Ground on 29 September through Robin van Persie's 13th-minute header.

Curbishley's main decision will be whether to recall Anton Ferdinand into the team at the possible expense of Jonathan Spector - although he may instead be in contention for a midfield berth with the weekend concerns over Nolberto Solano and Freddie Ljungberg (both hamstring), along with Scott Parker (knee). Dean Ashton, a Saturday substitute, will also be looking for the chance to grab a third goal in three straight away games.

The fixture is too soon for France winger Julien Faubert (achilles) to make his return while Calum Davenport, Matthew Etherington and Lee Bowyer (all groin) are also said to be close but not quite ready. With numbers depleted, it does suggest possible squad opportunities for the likes of England youth international defender James Tomkins or Wales Under-21 midfielder Jack Collison.

Arsenal have doubts over Van Persie after a muscular problem that has kept him out of the past three games. William Gallas is fully fit though after a foot injury suffered on Boxing Day. Emmanuel Adebayor and Tomas Rosicky could also return to the starting lineup after being rested in the 4-1 weekend win at Everton.

Both Adebayor and Rosicky figured as late substitutes and still found time to score a goal apiece, adding to the two goals scored by Eduardo, his first in the Premier League. Niklas Bendtner was sent off on Saturday and will not be eligible to play.


Having memorably won both games against Arsenal 1-0 last season, the Hammers are hopeful of a third away win against their north London rivals. The Emirates Stadium fixture on 7 April 2007 was a key success in the survival fight and owed much to the heroics of Robert Green and Bobby Zamora's 45th-minute winner.

The lineups were:

West Ham United: Green, Neill, Collins, Ferdinand, McCartney (Spector 46), Bowyer, Reo-Coker, Noble, Etherington, Tevez (Kepa 82), Zamora (Boa Morte 65)
Subs not used: Carroll, Mullins

Arsenal: Lehmann, Eboue, Toure, Gallas, Clichy, Ljungberg (Julio Baptista 75), Fabregas, Gilberto (Diaby 85), Hleb (Aliadiere 65), Rosicky, Adebayor
Subs not used: Alumnia, Senderos

Curbishley's current side are in fine league form, with five wins and four draws from the last eleven fixtures. The only two reverses came against strong opposition in the form of Chelsea and Everton, while the club have taken seven points from their last three fixtures. A 2-1 win at Middlesbrough on 22 December was followed by the 1-1 draw against Reading and the 2-1 victory against Manchester United.

The Hammers have still not lost in all nine league games this season when they have taken the lead while the Boro and United successes were the first two comeback wins of the campaign. Victory could take the club up to eighth in the table and within striking distance of the top six. With six goals against on the road, no team has a better record away from home in the league this season although Arsenal have won nine and drawn one of their ten Emirates Stadium fixtures.

George McCartney is bidding to make his 24th appearance this season in all competitions - and is the only West Ham United player who has featured in every game to date, starting in each one. In terms of the Premier League, only Robert Green and Upson have played every minute of the 19 matches. Ashton, with five goals, is the club's leading scorer in all competitions.

Only Kolo Toure has played every minute of Arsenal's top-flight campaign, although Gael Clichy has started every fixture. The club have used just 23 players in the league and have two players on eleven goals - Fabregas and Adebayor - with the latter scoring all of his in the Barclays Premier League. Only Cristiano Ronaldo, with 13, has more.

Richard Wright (2001-02 - 12 appearances/0 goals), Matthew Upson (1997-2003 - 35 appearances/0 goals), Freddie Ljungberg (1998-2007 - 216 appearances/46 goals) and Luis Boa Morte (1997-1999 - 25 appearances/0 goals) are ex-Arsenal players.

Head to head record (last six league meetings before this season)

7 April 2007 - Arsenal 0-1 West Ham United
5 November 2006 - West Ham United 1-0 Arsenal
1 February 2006 - Arsenal 2-3 West Ham United
24 September 2005 - West Ham United 0-0 Arsenal
19 January 2003 - Arsenal 3-1 West Ham United
24 August 2002 - West Ham United 2-2 Arsenal

All-time record v Arsenal (all competitions): W 33 D 36 L48

Other New Year's Day fixtures (all 3pm unless stated)

Aston Villa v Tottenham Hotspur (5.20pm)
Fulham v Chelsea (12.45pm)
Manchester United v Birmingham City
Middlesbrough v Everton
Reading v Portsmouth

General information

Please note this game is SOLD OUT.

For more information about ticketing, click here and for details of getting to the Emirates Stadium, click here

Weather: The forecast is for a chilly and overcast day in north London. The temperature is set to peak at around 7C.