By 90Min
August 24, 2018

Arsenal and West Ham will both look to put their disappointing starts behind them as they face off against one another on Saturday afternoon.

It has been a difficult start for the Gunners who have had to face off against Manchester City and Chelsea in their first two matches. Newly appointed Unai Emery wasn't able to inspire his side to victory in either match, and he will no doubt be under pressure to deliver a win in his third match.

West Ham fans were full of cautious optimism heading into the season, but they have so far been let down by their side, who haven't performed anywhere near as well as they would have liked. A third defeat on the bounce would signal a terrible start to the season for a team who were aiming for a top half finish this season.


Classic Encounter

Arsenal have tended to get the better of their London rivals over the past few years, but they haven't always had it all their own way.

In 2016, the two sides played out an exhilarating 3-3 draw in one of the last games to be played at West Ham's old home ground, Upton Park.

Julian Finney/GettyImages

The Gunners got off to the perfect start, taking the lead through Mesut Ozil, before Alexis Sanchez doubled the score in the 35th minute. However, two goals from Andy Carroll right on the brink of half time gave West Ham a huge lifeline.

They continued in the same vein straight after the interval and Carroll completed his hat-trick just seven minutes after his first goal. Arsenal fought back and earned themselves a point courtesy of a Laurent Koscielny.


Key Battle 


Matteo Guendouzi vs. Jack Wilshere


Whatever happens, you can guarantee that all eyes will be on West Ham midfielder Jack Wilshere, who is set to play against Arsenal for the first time since he left the club earlier this summer.

The 26-year-old has everything to prove after he was deemed surplus to requirements by Unai Emery and he is likely to come up against the man who was brought in to replace him - Matteo Guendouzi.

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It came as a surprise to see the youngster start against both Manchester City and Chelsea but, aside from a few isolated mistakes, he has performed reasonably well. 

At just 19 years old he has plenty of room to improve, but it will be fascinating to see how he matches up against the man whose boots he is filling.


Team News


Arsenal have no fresh injury concerns, but they will still be without the likes of Laurent Koscielny, Sead Kolasinac and Ainsley Maitland-Niles as they continue to watch from the sidelines.


The only real question will be whether Mesut Ozil will be able to retain his place after an inauspicious to the season. He looked off the pace against both City and Chelsea but with Emery refusing to start Aubameyang alongside Lacazette, he should keep his place for now.

GLYN KIRK/GettyImages

West Ham could be without their captain Mark Noble as he is currently dealing with a back issue and if he isn't fit to start, it could pave the path for a first start of the season for Pedro Obiang. 


Predicted Lineups

Arsenal: Cech; Bellerin, Mustafi, Sokratis, Monreal; Ramsey, Guendouzi, Ozil; Iwobi, Mkhitaryan; Aubameyang.

West Ham: Fabianski; Zabaleta, Balbuena, Ogbonna, Masuaku, Obiang, Sanchez, Wilshere, Antonio, Anderson; Arnautovic.


Predictions

It has been incredibly difficult to accurately gauge just where Arsenal are under Unai Emery, as he had to compete against two sides who are currently well ahead of them with regards to ability.

There have been worrying signs defensively, but they proved that they were able to provide a threat in the final third against Chelsea and that was even without Aubameyang performing at his best.

GLYN KIRK/GettyImages

West Ham have had far fewer positives to take away from their defeats but they'll come into this one knowing that it is crucial they pick up a result. 


It's going to be a tight affair, but Arsenal's attacking talent should help them to a first win of the season.

Predicted Score: Arsenal 2-1 West Ham

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