Preview - Arsenal

In brief

West Ham United travel to Arsenal on Saturday looking to bounce back from a narrow defeat to league leaders Chelsea.

Having returned from a warm weather training camp in Dubai, Sam Allardyce’s men will want to get back to winning ways after a tough run of fixtures.

This is the Hammers’ fourth consecutive London derby, having played Tottenham, Crystal Palace and the Blues in recent weeks.

Arsenal, on the other hand, seem to be clicking into gear at the business end of the season with a confidence boosting 2-1 win over Manchester United in the FA Cup.

Arsene Wenger’s men are in good form, winning six of their last seven games in all competitions. They are currently third in the league with 54 points from 28 games.   

Who are they?

Founded as Dial Square in 1886, Arsenal's early days were played out south of the River Thames in Woolwich.

They were the first team from the south of England to join the Football League and in 1913 moved across London to Highbury.

Their success has been particularly consistent, accumulating the second most points in the history of the English top flight and holding the ongoing record for the longest uninterrupted period in the top division.

They have won the league title 13 times, the FA Cup on 11 occasions and two European trophies - the Cup Winners' Cup in 1994 and the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in 1970.

Team news

West Ham United
West Ham could be without James Tomkins who has suffered a shoulder injury.

In an incredibly unlucky week, Enner Valencia will also miss out after cutting his toe on a cup in a freak accident.

Winston Reid and Carlton Cole are both unavailable but making good progress from their hamstring injuries.

Morgan Amalfitano is back in contention having served his three match suspension.
The Gunners also have a number of injury concerns. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is out with a hamstring problem while Tomas Rosicky faces a race against time to recover from illness.

New signing Gabriel Paulista (hamstring), Jack Wilshere (ankle) and Mikel Arteta (ankle) are also out.
Long terms absentees Mathieu Debuchy (shoulder) and Abou Diaby (calf) are still unavailable.


Saturday’s referee is Chris Foy.

The Merseyside based referee has a wealth of experience, having refereed his first game back in 2001.
Since then, he has taken charge of 258 matches, issued 705 yellow cards and 38 reds.

This season, Foy has refereed three West Ham games – the opening day defeat to Tottenham, the 2-2 away draw at Stoke City and the 3-1 win over Swansea City.  

The assistant referees are Andrew Garratt and David Bryan, while Anthony Taylor is the Fourth

One to watch

West Ham United
Alex Song could make his first return to the Emirates after leaving the Gunners to join European heavyweights Barcelona in 2012.

The Cameroon man has proved to be an inspired signing. Having made 23 appearances this season, he has been a mainstay in the heart of midfield.

He has become an integral part of the Hammers team and will want to put in an impressive display against his former employers.

In the reverse fixture just after Christmas, Song saw an audacious volley from outside the box dubiously ruled out due to other players standing in an offside position.  
Alexis Sanchez has truly hit the ground running at Arsenal after also making the move to England from Barcelona in the close season.

The Chile forward enjoyed an outstanding World Cup and has carried that form into his first season in English football, with 13 league goals to his name already.


All tickets have sold out for this fixture.


Click here for the latest from Transport for London and here for National Rail.

Please note that Emirates Stadium is situated in a residential area with a Residents Parking Scheme in operation in the roads surrounding the ground.

Any cars parked illegally will be towed away. With road works taking place outside Highbury & Islington station too, additional congestion is likely around Highbury Corner. Supporters are therefore recommended to consider an alternative route to Emirates Stadium and/or allow additional time for your journey.

Supporters can access the Away Supporters Guide for Emirates Stadium here.


A cloudy day with a chance of rain before kick-off is forecast with temperatures at 3pm predicted to be 8C (46F).

Last away meeting

Arsenal 3-1 West Ham United
Barclays Premier League
15 April 2014
The Hammers last took on Arsenal at Emirates Stadium last April. Matt Jarvis gave the visitors the lead in the first half, but that was as good as it got for Big Sam's men as the Gunners came roaring back.

Lukas Podolski levelled on the stroke of half-time, before Olivier Giroud made it 2-1 ten minutes after the break.

Podolski finished the contest off with his second 12 minutes from the end to boost his team's challenge for fourth spot.

Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Rosicky (Ramsey 72), Arteta, Cazorla (Jenkinson 88), Kallstrom, Podolski, Giroud
Subs: Fabianski, Bellerin, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sanogo, Akpom

West Ham United: Adrian, Reid, Tomkins, Armero, Demel, Jarvis (J.Cole 78), Noble, Diame, Downing (Vaz Te 78), Nocerino, Carroll (C.Cole 84)
Subs: Jaaskelainen, McCartney, Johnson, Taylor