West Ham v Arsenal: Match facts and teams, and the top club in London this season

By Bulldog Drummond

The story so far:


The BBC is predicting a 1-1 draw which would be somewhat disappointing given our record against WHAM across the years and the fact that WHAM are currently in an injury crisis.  But maybe the BBC are recognising that West Ham do have the support of the referees when it comes to punishments, committing many more fouls than Arsenal but getting far fewer yellow cards.

But even with the referee on their side we could just edge it, particularly as we have already done the double over them 11 times in the Premier League (when they have bothered to turn up rather than skulking in the second division).

WHAM haven’t lost two in a row since the start of the season (one of those games being our victory over them)  – but equally we know that this is a club that constantly flatters to deceive.  They have won the second division twice, but in terms of league titles that is about it.

As for winning four home league games in a row, which is what a win today would give them, the last time they did that was 19 years ago, so they seem to have lost the habit.

But probably our greatest advantage is that David Moyes is their manager.  Arsenal has played a Moysian team 31 teams in the league, and they have only beaten us four times.   It is not that he has lost the winning habit, but rather that he never had it.

As for Arsenal, we know that over the last few years, it is our away form that slumped.   And although this is hardly a season from heaven, playing away it is not the event from hell any more, as we have already equalled last season’s total with five away games to go, of which this is one.

What’s more our last five league defeats have been by just one goal, suggesting the level of improvement needed to pick up the points is not that much.

Oh yes and there is one other thing.  In the old days (well up to two seasons ago) the media used to be full of the London league table, in which the matches between the London clubs in the Premier League were calculated as a separate league table.  No one seems to want to do that any more; but why?

Could it be that although Arsenal are not exactly top they are only second by two goals, and the media darlings are only third because they have played four more games in the London League than anyone else?

P W D L F A GD Pts
Chelsea 6 4 1 1 10 3 7 13
Arsenal 6 4 1 1 10 5 5 13
Tottenham Hotspur 10 3 4 3 14 11 3 13
West Ham United 8 3 3 2 11 12 -1 12
Crystal Palace 8 1 4 3 7 14 -7 7
Fulham 8 0 3 5 2 9 -7 3
    There are seven all London games to go of which today’s is the first.

The Totts as we can see have finished their all London games, while Chelsea and Arsenal have each got four games left.   

Tottenham Hots have in fact played more London derby games in the Premier League than any other league club in the history of history, having knocked up 280 such games, while Chelsea and Arsenal have each played 276, but will of course catch up by the end of the season.

However while Chelsea have won 146 derbies in the Premier League and Arsenal 144, Tottenham have only won 103, while poor WHAM have only won 79 – although of course they have played fewer what with their propensity for visits into the lower leagues from time to time.

One more little factoid,  Alexandre Lacazette has scored four goals in his last five league games against WHAM.

So that just leaves us the team.  That’s coming up next.

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