Arsenal match preview

Barclays Premier League
West Ham United v Arsenal
Boleyn Ground
Sunday 26 October
Referee: Phil Dowd
WHUTV - Full audio commentary



* West Ham United welcome Arsenal for the club's second London derby of the season, having won 2-1 at Fulham on 27 September. A home win would move the club to within a point of the visitors, who sit in fourth place in the Barclays Premier League.

* United go into the game with a mixed run of form of late. Having secured their first away win of the season in that game at Fulham, the side then lost their 100 per cent home record by losing at home to Bolton Wanderers in the following match - Gianfranco Zola's first league defeat as manager - and then went down 1-0 at Hull City last weekend.

* Those results turned the side's form on its head as they had won their first three matches at the Boleyn Ground.

* After last weekend's games, West Ham United are eighth in the Barclays Premier League with four wins and three defeats and a level goal difference. Arsenal have won five games, including two on their travels, drawn one and lost two.

* Only West Ham United and Middlesbrough have not drawn a game this season.

* Zola's side will be hoping to keep their first clean sheet after a run of 20 matches since their last at Fulham in February. The club have not lost in any of the four games this season where they have taken the lead.

* Carlton Cole is the club's top scorer with three goals from eight league appearances.

* If Hayden Mullins is selected it would be his 200th appearance for the club, while James Collins is a game away from a century of career matches.

* West Ham United are next in action on Wednesday when they have the small matter of a trip to the champions Manchester United. Arsenal have an equally important night when they play host to old rivals Tottenham Hotspur.

Last time out

Sunday 19 October - Hull City 1-0 West Ham United
West Ham United: Green, Faubert (Di Michele 73), Neill, Upson, Ilunga, Behrami, Parker, Noble, Etherington (Sears 83), Bellamy, Cole
Subs not used: Lastuvka, Lopez, Boa Morte, Mullins, Davenport

Tuesday 21 October - Fenerbahce 2-5 Arsenal
Almunia, Eboue, Song, Silvestre, Clichy, Walcott (Djourou 84), Fabregas, Diaby (Ramsey 73), Denilson, Nasri, Adebayor (Vela 86)
Subs not used: Fabianski, Van Persie, Bendtner, Gibbs
Goals: Adebayor 10, Walcott 11, Diaby 21, Song 49, Ramsey 90

Team news

* New signing Diego Tristan will not feature again as the striker continues to work on his fitness. The manager has got defender James Collins and midfielder Lee Bowyer back in contention.

* Mark Noble is definitely missing through a calf muscle tear that could keep him out for a month, with Luis Boa Morte, Hayden Mullins and Jack Collison all possible replacements. The trio each performed well for the reserves in their midweek 1-0 win against Arsenal reserves. Junior Stanislas scored the goal to underline his progress.

* Jonathan Spector (hip) will be at Sunday's match and is expected to resume training next week, when he will be joined by fellow defender James Tomkins after his medial knee ligament injury suffered in the summer. Young striker Zavon Hines is also due to return to training next week after his knee problem.

* Dean Ashton remains a long-term absentee with his left ankle injury but Kieron Dyer has been a welcome sight back at the Chadwell Heath pitches. He has been taking part in light training but is still three weeks away at least from stepping up to full training. Danny Gabbidon is progressing well with his abdominal injury but no date has been set for his return.

* Arsenal are hopeful that William Gallas (hamstring) and Kolo Toure (shoulder) could be fit to play in Sunday's game but Bacary Sagna (knee) will miss out. Eduardo (knee) and Tomas Rosicky (hamstring) are both still out with long-term injuries.

West Ham United defender Matthew Upson said: "We perhaps should have won [the last two matches] but didn't so now we need to win a couple that
we're not expected to do well in. We know we have a real job on our hands this weekend though. In terms of passing and moving, which is what attacking play is all about, Arsenal are probably the best in the league."


The last meeting of the clubs was Arsenal's 2-0 win on New Year's Day this year.

The lineups were:

Arsenal: Almunia, Hoyte, Toure, Gallas, Clichy, Eboue (Hleb 77), Fabregas, Flamini, Rosicky (Diaby 88), Eduardo (Walcott 63), Adebayor
Subs not used: Lehmann, Song

West Ham United: Green, Neill, Ferdinand, Upson, McCartney, Pantsil, Mullins (Camara 77), Spector, Noble, Ljungberg (Collison 37), Cole (Ashton 71)
Subs not used: Wright, Tomkins

* Luis Boa Morte spent two years at Arsenal between June 1997 and August 1999, making 39 appearances and scoring four goals in all competitions.

* Matthew Upson was with Arsenal between May 1997 and January 2003, getting 56 run-outs in all competitions.

West Ham United may have lost the two meetings between the clubs last season (2-0 away, 1-0 at home on 29 September) but they were undefeated in the four previous fixtures, including a draw and then three successive wins.

Head to head (last six meetings, league unless stated)

1 January 2008 - Arsenal 2-0 West Ham United
29 September 2007 - West Ham United 0-1 Arsenal
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

Overall record v Arsenal (all competitions): W 33, D 36, L 49

Barclays Premier League fixtures

Sunday 26 October (3pm unless stated)

Chelsea v Liverpool (1.30pm)
Manchester City v Stoke City
Portsmouth v Fulham (5pm)
Tottenham Hotspur v Bolton Wanderers
Wigan Athletic v Aston Villa

General information
Click here for ticket information. For details on getting to the Boleyn Ground, click here

Weather: The forecast is for a cloudy day with some sunshine. The temperature is set to be around 12C.