Betway Insider's View of the Opposition: Arsenal
The goalless draw played out between the Hammers and Arsenal back in December felt like an anomaly at the time, and that impression has only strengthened in the months since.
London derbies between West Ham and Arsenal don’t tend to disappoint, with ten of their previous eleven meetings before the start of this season featuring a minimum of three, and average of four, goals.
And, based on the goalscoring form of both sides since the reverse fixture, another stalemate on Sunday is unlikely.
The Hammers have failed to score in just one of their 16 league matches since, while Arsenal’s only two blanks during the same period came against Tottenham and Manchester City.
The Emirates has also seen plenty of entertainment recently, with every match in all competitions there this calendar year serving up at least three goals.
While the Gunners’ home form is impressive – winning 13 of 17 league games on their own patch this season – creditable draws away to Spurs and Chelsea suggest that West Ham are more than capable of achieving at least a point against the Premier League’s sixth-best side.
When it comes to working out who might find the net for the away side, it makes sense to look beyond the usual candidates.
Marko Arnautovic remains influential, but has only scored in one of his last six matches, while four of Javier Hernandez’s last five appearances have come off the bench.
That was the case against Stoke on Monday, though it was another striker in Andy Carroll who ultimately provided the impact required to rescue a point with a fine finish on his return from injury.
The No9 has scored West Ham’s last four goals against Arsenal – including a memorable hat-trick in the last season at the Boleyn – so looks a good bet to provide the firepower required to get the better of the Gunners’ famously fragile defence.