Three Key Battles - Arsenal

West Ham United’s second away day in the space of five days comes on Wednesday when they make the short trip to north London to face Arsenal.

And though Arsenal, consistently one of the top flight’s title challengers in recent years, represent a tough challenge at the Emirates, the Hammers have beaten the Gunners five times away from home in the Premier League era.

Fulham are the only other side West Ham have won more on the road at, and Slaven Bilic will be hoping to equal that record of six away Premier League wins this evening.

We’ve taken a look at some statistics ahead of the London derby and three key battles which could prove vital…


Bellerin v Byram

First off, we take a look at the two respective right-backs, Hector Bellerin and Sam Byram. The latter has started the previous two games for the Hammers, and set one up as a sub in the side’s recent defeat at Bournemouth.

But, judging by the statistics, it’s Bellerin who edges things in terms of getting forward. The Spaniard loves to run at the opposition defence and join in with attacks.

Byram, on the other hand, has clearly been more defensively effective so far this term. He makes more tackles, interceptions and clearances per game than his Arsenal counterpart.

It will be interesting to see whether West Ham can exploit Arsenal’s right-hand-side going forward against Bellerin, whose main focus is to get forward.


Ozil v Lanzini

Mesut Ozil has had a relatively disappointing campaign for the Gunners, while Manuel Lanzini has impressed, particularly since the turn of the year.

Argentine Lanzini has scored seven times for the Hammers this season so far, already trumping his total of six in the Premier League last term, while Ozil has five.

But it’s the German’s assists total which is the major disappointment; the 28-year-old made 19 Premier League goals for Arsene Wenger’s side in 2015/16, while this season he’s set-up just five.

His pass success percentage is also down on last campaign, and Lanzini’s 88 per cent just about edges him in front in that respect. Could either playmaker be the difference at the Emirates tonight?


Giroud v Carroll

Sometimes some physicality up top is crucial, as Oliver Giroud and Andy Carroll have proved at times this season. Both sides have struggled when their main men in attack have been missing.

The Frenchman, however, has not been starting for the Gunners of late, and Danny Welbeck was preferred for Sunday’s draw with Manchester City.

Meanwhile, Carroll remains vital to Slaven Bilic’s side and has proved that in recent weeks with five goals in his last eight Premier League matches.

Though Giroud has scored more than the Big Man this term, had Carroll not missed so much of the season through injury, not many would bet against him being on top at this stage.