- West Ham v Arsenal. The biggest danger for Arsenal in this game is the referee
- The team without Rice against the club with Rice: WHAM v Arsenal
- West Ham v Arsenal in the league cup. Preliminary data etc
by Bulldog Drummond
West Ham United is one of the clubs that Arsenal generally beat. Of the 148 games between the two clubs 72 (49%) have been Arsenal victories, while 35 (24%) have been West Ham wins, with the remaining 41 of course being draws.
There were two FA Cup games in 1906 but regular competition between the two opened up in 1923 and initially, West Ham were the dominant side. Leaving aside the two cup games in 1906, Arsenal won only five of the 19 Division One and FA Cup games between the two side from 1923 through to 1930. West Ham won eight of those games including a catastrophic 7-0 game in 1927.
Of the remaining three games in 1931/2 Arsenal won two and drew one, scoring nine and conceding four in the process, before West Ham popped off for one of their regular visits to the second division as Arsenal started to dominate the league.
League matches resumed in 1958 with the return of West Ham to Division One, and curiously Arsenal again found them troublesome opponents. In fact in the 22 Division One, and League Cup games between 8 November 1958 and 26 October 1968, Arsenal won just three! 12 were draws and seven were West Ham victories. This was indeed the era when commentators would regularly say that by and large London teams would not ever win the league again because with five London clubs regularly in League Division One, and with most derby games ending in draws, the clubs from the rest of the country had a profound advantage.
But then the pendulum swung the other way and between September 2007 and April 2023 Arsenal won 24 of the 32 matches played between between the two clubs. Six have been draws and West Ham United have won just two. That is a run that shows three quarters of the games have been won by Arsenal over a 31 match run.
CBS Sports however have a piece headlined “Why you should back West Ham” which notes that they “have lost only one of their last 10 League Cup matches at London Stadium, winning six games and drawing three others.”
And yet when one looks at West Ham’s league cup performance in the last dozen years that is not really a reflection on reality. Last year they were knocked out by Blackburn, in 2019/20 it was Oxford who did them, in 2014/15 Sheffield United saw them off, and in 2012/13 it was Wigan, while the year before that it was Aldershot. This is not the tale of a side that powers its way through the competition.
Indeed in the past 10 years West Ham have gone out in the second round once, the third round three times, the fourth round three times, the quarter finals three times and the semi-finals once.
On the other hand in the coming weeks Arsenal play Newcastle, Burnley and Brentford in the league, and Lens and Sevilla in the Champions League, so they won’t want to risk too many first-team players.
Arsenal have three injuries (Partey, Gabriel and Timber) but given the league and Champions League fixtures coming up may now look to introduce some lesser-known faces. The Standard suggest that Arsenal will win 3-1.
Sports Mole offer a team line up of
White, Tomiyasu, Gabriel, Kiwior;
Vieira, Jorginho, Havertz;
Nelson, Nketiah, Trossard
and they predict a 0-2 Arsenal victory.
Pain in the Arsenal offer a slight variation in the team…
White, Tomiyasu, Gabriel, Kiwior;
Jorginho, Smith Rowe, Vieira;
Nelson, Havertz, Trossard.
Football.London come up with
White, Gabriel, Kiwior, Tomiyasu;
Jorginho, Vieira, Smith Rowe;
Nelson, Nketiah, Trossard.
but they predict a 1-0 West Ham win. (They have at least stopped suggesting they are using a super computer).
Perhaps the most amusing line up prediction however comes from a source we’ve not mentioned before: MightyTips.com
White, Saliba, Kiwior, Tomiyasu;
Havertz, Rice, Smith Rowe;
Trossard, Nketiah, Trossard.
The introduction of both of the Trossard twins at once is certainly revolutionary and as they are identical could cause some confusion in the West Ham defence.
And to round this off, I’ve been taking a look at the Independent which we don’t often cite. But they make the very valid point that “West Ham managed just one shot on target in Sunday’s loss to Everton” and were previously “totally outplayed the week before that at Aston Villa and then seen their long unbeaten run in Europe ended by Olympiakos a few days later.”
Plus they note that Arsenal “have scored at least two goals in 13 of the last 15 visits and have only failed to score once in their last 16 away matches in all competitions.”
So we live in hope and expectation.
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