West Ham Preview and Festive Woes


I hope these words find you in a state of great equanimity and not excreting stress from every orifice as the holiday season bears down on you with the weight of an overenthusiastic walrus. I am, for the first time in my adult life, experiencing the latter as I have uncharacteristically left my Christmas shopping until late. I am behind on my baking, I’m organising a festive fun day for local kids and have been desperately trying to fashion my own Chanukah jumper to wear to a party this evening for the lighting of the menorah. An event I will attend whilst dosed up on antibiotics and where I will try to surreptitiously watch the match on my phone. Things are definitely not gravy.

Despite my multitude of responsibilities and prior engagements I will be watching the match tonight with a heady mix of trepidation and excitement. West Ham are not the whipping boys their position on the table would suggest and Arsenal did squander a chance to drag themselves into the top four at the weekend but tonight is a match that Arsenal should win comfortably. And therein lies the source of my trepidation. Matches Arsenal *should* win are more often than not the ones we screw up. All things being said, I fancy a rotated Gunners side to put on a good show and will be using a titanbet bonus code 2018 to back Wenger’s boys to finish the year with a winning streak.

Tonight at the London Stadium I’m sure we’ll see some heavy rotation from the side that played against Southampton at the weekend. Certainly absent will be Santi Cazorla and Aaron Ramsey, Mustafi and Walcott face late fitness tests. A whole host of our ‘regulars’ will likely find themselves either on the bench, granting the likes of Jack Wilshere the opportunity to put in a noteworthy performance in the most important competition of all.

I’m totally guessing at the line-up but with Newcastle to play in three days I expect to see something like this: Čech; Monreal, Koscielny, Chambers; Kolašinac, Xhaka, Wilshere, Bellerín; Sánchez, Özil; Giroud. The subs bench could feature a mixture of youth and experience given West Ham’s defensive improvement under Moyes. All in all, I’m hoping we can do the business with minimal fuss. West Ham will want to avoid being humiliated in front of their own crowd and they performed better than expected against City so it’s likely they’ll put more effort into stopping us from scoring than they will in trying to put one past us themselves. Expect a scrappy night with hopeful punts to Andy Carroll who isn’t a stranger to the art of giving Arsenal a hard time.

A late Olivier Giroud goal saved a point for Arsenal at the weekend and he always puts in a good turn against the Hammers. I’m going for an uncomfortable 2-0 win with late goals that put a flourish on our performance after 80 odd minutes of worrying they’ll pinch the winner on the counter. How you think the match will pan out this evening?

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