Arsenal will play West Ham on Boxing Day with the hope of maintaining their five-point lead at the top of the Premier League.
As the season begins after the World Cup break, the Gunners are comfortably in first place, while West Ham are only one point above the bottom-half of the standings.
Due to the unusual winter World Cup, the Premier League leaders haven’t mesmerized us with their grandeur since mid-November.
However, a warm-weather training camp in Dubai gave fans a taste of Arteta-ball as Arsenal won the Dubai Super Cup.
The Gunners performed above and beyond all expectations in the first half of the season, as they went into the break leading the league by five points.
Although this promising young team has only lost two league games so far, the road ahead will be difficult.
On Boxing Day, West Ham pays a visit to the Emirates following a poor start to 2022/23. The semifinalists in the Europa League from last season are currently ranked 16th after dropping their final three games before the break.
If the Hammers struggle upon their return, the pressure will increase on manager David Moyes, and a significant test is scheduled for Monday night.
Here is a preview of the Boxing Day match.
Arsenal Vs West Ham Team News
Gabriel Jesus had a World Cup knee injury that required surgery and will probably keep him out until February.
Even though Emile Smith Rowe will probably return soon, this game will come too soon for him.
Takehiro Tomiyasu, Oleksandr Zinchenko, and Albert Sambi Lokonga were unable to participate in Arsenal’s final friendlies during the World Cup break; therefore, they will likely need to be evaluated before this match.
In that encounter, Reiss Nelson suffered a leg injury and will be sidelined for a few weeks.
Although he was a member of the France team that advanced to the World Cup Final, William Saliba is still eligible to start.
West Ham United
Alphonse Areola and Nayef Aguerd played for teams at the World Cup that advanced to the second round—Morocco and France—so they are likely to be unavailable for this match.
Kurt Zouma won’t be able to play in this match because of knee surgery he had at the end of November.
Maxwel Cornet is still out after encountering a setback in his calf injury recovery.
Gianluca Scamacca left the friendly game against Fulham because of an ankle injury, thus he could miss this one.
Aaron Cresswell and Michail Antonio didn’t play at all in that game, so they will need to be evaluated before this one.
Arsenal and West Ham has competed in 42 games thus far. Arsenal won 28 of these encounters. West Ham won six games. They drew 8 times. In straight matches, both clubs scored 2.86 goals per game on average.
Arsenal averaged 2.31 goals per game throughout the actual season. Over 1.5 goals were scored in 13 (86.67%) of the 13 home games (team and opponent). In 12 (80.00%) of the 2022 season’s home games, there were more than 2.5 goals scored by both teams combined.
In the 2022 season, West Ham averaged 1.44 goals per game. Over 1.5 goals were scored in 14 (66.67%) away games (team and opponent). Over 2.5 goals were scored by the away team in 8 (38.10%) of the matches they played.
Arsenal vs West Ham Probable Lineups
Arsenal: Ramsdale; White, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney; Partey, Xhaka, Odegaard; Saka, Nketiah, Martinelli.
West Ham: Fabianski; Kehrer, Dawson, Zouma, Cresswell; Soucek, Rice; Fornals, Paqueta, Benrahma; Bowen.
In addition to losing five of their past seven league away games, West Ham has dropped four of their last five league games. This doesn’t bode well for this London derby.
Losing Gabriel Jesus will be a significant setback for Arsenal, particularly with the upcoming two weeks certain to be jam-packed with games. They ought to have enough talent to prevail in this match, though.
Even though Arsenal may have some fitness concerns going into this game, they remain the heavy favorites for a reason, therefore, they may win at odds of 1/2 (1.50).
This is quite some tricky game, however, here at Futballnews, we are predicting a 1-1 draw.