Arsenal match preview

Barclays Premier League
Arsenal v West Ham United
Emirates Stadium
Saturday 20 March
Referee: Martin Atkinson


• West Ham United will look to make it third time lucky against Arsenal this season after a draw and a defeat in the previous two encounters. It is the first of three matches in eight days that will do much to define the Hammers season, with home games against Wolverhampton Wanderers and Stoke City to follow on Tuesday and Saturday week respectively.

• The first encounter with Arsenal this season was a 2-2 Barclays Premier League draw at the Boleyn Ground on 25 October. That day, the Hammers fought back from two goals down to tie the game through goals from Carlton Cole and Alessandro Diamanti.

• On Sunday 3 January, the Gunners again travelled to east London for an FA Cup third-round tie. Diamanti was again on target just before half-time only for Aaron Ramsey and Eduardo to score in the second half for the visitors and seal a 2-1 away win.

• West Ham will be looking for their first win in seven matches against the Gunners, having lost four times and drawn twice since winning 1-0 at the Emirates Stadium on 7 April 2007.

• The two teams have met 105 times in the league. Arsenal have won 46, West Ham United have won 27 and there have been 32 draws.

• This year marks 30 years since the 1980 FA Cup final, when Trevor Brooking scored the winner with a rare headed goal at Wembley on 10 May. The club will honour that team at this year's End of Season Gala Dinner. Click here for more details.

• Fans not going to the match can catch all the action exclusively live on ESPN & ESPN HD from 4.45pm on Saturday with Ray Stubbs and his guests in the studio; Kevin Keegan and former Hammers favourite Shaka Hislop. ESPN is available at: Sky 417 and 442, Virgin 529 and 530, Top Up TV 34. For further information on how to subscribe to ESPN, go to

Last time out

Saturday 13 March 2010
Barclays Premier League
Chelsea 4-1 West Ham United
West Ham United:
Green, Spector, Gabbidon, Upson, Daprela, Parker, Kovac, Dyer (Cole 68), Behrami, Ilan (Diamanti 84), Mido (Stanislas 68)
Subs not used: Stech, Tomkins, Collison, McCarthy
Goal: Parker 30

Saturday 13 March 2010
Barclays Premier League
Hull City 1-2 Arsenal
Arsenal: Almunia, Vermaelen, Clichy, Campbell, Sagna, Arshavin, Eboue (Walcott 66), Denilson, Nasri (Eduardo 76), Diaby, Bendtner
Subs not used: Fabianski, Silvestre, Traore, Merida, Eastmond
Goals: Arshavin 14, Bendtner 90

Last meeting

• The two sides' last meeting was a 2-1 win for Arsenal at the Boleyn Ground on Sunday 3 January 2010. The two teams that day were -

West Ham United: Green, Faubert, Tomkins, Upson, Daprela, Behrami, Kovac, Jimenez, Stanislas (Edgar 87), Diamanti, Nouble (Sears 79)
Subs not used: Stech, Da Costa, 'Gala, Payne, Lee
Goal: Diamanti 45

Arsenal: Fabianski, Vermaelen, Silvestre, Sagna, Gallas, Song, Merida (Nasri 65), Ramsey, Wilshere (Diaby 65), Vela, Eduardo
Subs not used: Mannone, Traore, Gilbert, Emmanuel-Thomas, Eastmond
Goals: Ramsey 78, Eduardo 83

Head to head

• Last six meetings (Premier League unless stated)

3 January 2010 West Ham United 1-2 Arsenal (FA Cup third round)
25 October 2009 West Ham United 2-2 Arsenal
31 January 2009 Arsenal 0-0 West Ham United
26 October 2008 West Ham United 0-2 Arsenal
1 January 2008 Arsenal 2-0 West Ham United
29 September 2007 West Ham United 0-1 Arsenal

Overall record v Arsenal (all competitions) W 33 D 38 L 51

Next up

• West Ham United have another vital home game on Tuesday night against Wolverhampton Wanderers, click here for ticket news. Arsenal's push for the title will see them head to Birmingham City next Saturday.


• Saturday's referee is Martin Atkinson. He turns 39 on 31 March.

• A referee since the age of 16, Atkinson was promoted to the Football League list of assistant referees in 1998. In 2000, Atkinson was promoted to the Select Group of assistant referees, allowing him to run the line in Premier League matches.

• Atkinson joined the National List of referees for the Football League at the start of the 2003/04 season before taking charge of his first Premier League fixture on 20 April 2005 when Manchester City entertained Birmingham City.

• Atkinson was the man in the middle at the 2006 FA Community Shield between Chelsea and Liverpool at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. He also took charge of the 2008 FA Trophy final between Ebbsfleet United and Torquay United at Wembley Stadium.

• Atkinson refereed two West Ham games last season - the goalless draw with Portsmouth at the Boleyn Ground on 15 November and the 1-0 defeat by Tottenham Hotspur on 11 April. This will be his second West Ham United match this season after the 2-1 defeat at Stoke City on 17 October.

West Ham United

• The Hammers have scored all seven of the penalties they have been awarded this season, a Premier League high.

• Alessandro Diamanti has the most shots (73), shots on target (39), shots off target (34) and crosses (26) of any of the Hammers players this season. His eight goals in all competitions have left him just one behind top scorer Carlton Cole.

• Hammer of the Year holder Scott Parker has won more free-kicks (53) than any other player in claret and blue.

• West Ham have scored 37 goals this season in the league with 15 different players on target. Carlton Cole leads the way (nine), with Alessandro Diamanti (seven) and Guille Franco and Matthew Upson (three) next in line. Jack Collison, Mark Noble, Junior Stanislas (two each), Ilan, Manuel da Costa, the departed Luis Jimenez, Zavon Hines, Radoslav Kovac, Valon Behrami, Julien Faubert and Scott Parker have also registered. An own-goal from Everton's Tony Hibbert completes the tally.

• Parker has been cautioned nine times this season and Faubert, Franco, Kovac and Noble five each. Cole and Collison are on four yellow cards, but will not be suspended if they receive a fifth as the FA disciplinary deadline has passed. Should any player reach ten cautions before the second Sunday in April, they will receive a two-mach suspension.

• Only Robert Green has played in every league game for the club this season. He is on a run of 116 successive league starts.

• Jack Collison made his West Ham United and Premier League debut as a substitute in the 2-0 defeat at the Emirates Stadium on New Year's Day 2008.

• The best Hammers awayday at Arsenal came on 14 November 1964 with a 3-0 victory. Geoff Hurst, Johnny Byrne and Martin Peters all scored without reply for a West Ham team without the injured Bobby Moore.

• West Ham's heaviest defeat at Arsenal was a 6-1 reverse exactly 34 years ago on 20 March 1976. Brian Kidd scored the final three goals for the Gunners, with Alan Ball getting two, against a Hammers team boasting Frank Lampard, Billy Bonds and Trevor Brooking. Arsenal finished 17th that season on 36 points, ahead of West Ham in 18th only on goal difference.

• West Ham United became the first away team to win at the Emirates Stadium in a competitive fixture on 7 April 2007, when Bobby Zamora's goal and a man-of-the-match display from Green helped the Hammers to secure a vital 1-0 victory.


• The Emirates Stadium is the place to go for if you are after goals. The 56 scored at the ground this season is the second highest in the Barclays Premier League this season, behind only Stamford Bridge on 58.

• Cesc Fabregas is the top scoring midfielder in the country in the league with 14 goals, and a further three in the cup. He has more assists than any other player in the Premier League with 15.

• Arsenal have won their last five Premier League games and another success would represent their best sequence since October 2007.

Team news

• Gianfranco Zola has been boosted by having Herita Ilunga (tendon) and Mark Noble (arm) back in full training this week. The club has three games in eight days with home matches against Wolverhampton Wanderers and Stoke City to follow on Tuesday and Saturday respectively.

• Julien Faubert (hamstring) is also closing on a return. Luis Boa Morte is edging nearer to his own full training comeback after missing the whole season to date with a cruciate knee ligament injury suffered last July.

• Benni McCarthy has also benefitted from a full week's work, meaning he and Guille Franco, also in contention again after a back problem, will be pushing Carlton Cole, Mido and Ilan hard for a place in the attack. McCarthy was an unused substitute at Chelsea last week.

• Fabio Daprela could keep his place at left-back against the team he made his first-team debut against back in January.

• Manuel da Costa will miss the matches against Arsenal and Wolves as he serves the final two games of a three-match suspension for his red card in the reserves last month.

• Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas is expected to return after a two-match absence with a hamstring problem on Saturday. Tomas Rosicky has also been given the all-clear to play after sitting out last week against Hull City.

• Alex Song is also available again after a two-match ban.

• The Gunners are without William Gallas (calf) that has kept him out for six matches, meaning Sol Campbell, who made his Arsenal playing return with a reserve match at the Boleyn Ground on 12 January, will probably partner Thomas Vermaelen

• Robin van Persie is hoping to return in April after an ankle problem while Kieran Gibbs also has hopes of playing again this campaign after his metatarsal injury in November. Johan Djourou (knee) is also set to figure again this season but is not yet ready to return.

• Aaron Ramsey will miss the rest of the season with tibia and fibula fractures in his right leg suffered at Stoke City earlier this month. 

Old boys

• Matthew Upson joined Arsenal from Luton Town for £2m in May 1997 at the age of 18. Upson made a total of 56 appearances for the Gunners over five-and-a-half seasons before moving to Birmingham City for £1m in January 2003

• Luis Boa Morte was brought to English football from Sporting Clube de Portugal in 1997 in a £1.75m deal, making 25 appearances for Arsenal before leaving for Southampton for an initial fee of £500,000 in August 1999.

• Among the players who have represented both clubs are Jeremie Aliadiere, James Bigden, Jimmy Bloomfield, Liam Brady, Dick Curtis, George Burgess, Kaba Diawara, Ted Drake, Stan Earle, Bert Fletcher, Ron Greenwood, Eddie Hapgood, John Hartson, Les Henley, Fergie Hunt, James Jackson, Bernard Joy, Fred Kemp, Tom Lee, Harry Lewis, William Linwood, Fredrik Ljungberg, Roddy MacEachrane, Jimmy Marshall, David Noble, John Radford, Stewart Robson, Charles Satterthwaite, Laurie Scott, Rami Shaaban, Bill Sidley, Bob Stevenson, Davor Suker, Charlie Walker, Nigel Winterburn, Ian Wright and Richard Wright.

General information

For ticket information, click here. For details on getting to the Emirates Stadium, click here 

Weather: Saturday's forecast is for a cloudy day with some showers. The top temperature will be 14C.