West Ham United will entertain Arsenal at the London Stadium on Saturday afternoon on the back of a 2-0 win over Birmingham City in the third round of the FA Cup. The Hammers have been far too inconsistent over the festive period and are winless in their past four matches in the Premier League.
However, Manuel Pellegrini’s side will be quietly optimistic about their chances of getting a positive result this weekend especially with Marko Arnautovic back from injury and firing on all cylinders. The East London outfit is expected to line up in a 4-4-2 formation with Pellegrini likely to make a whole host of changes to his starting XI for this London derby.
4-4-2 West Ham United Predicted Lineup To Face Arsenal
Łukasz Fabiański will start in goal as Pellegrini’s number one goalkeeper on Saturday after failing to keep a clean sheet in each of his last three league starts. The Polish shot-stopper might be shielded by the centre-back pairing of Angelo Ogbonna and Issa Diop as Fabian Balbuena is a significant doubt for this London derby.
Pablo Zabaleta has had a good run in the Hammers first-team this season so he should keep his place at right-back in the absence of the injured Ryan Fredericks. Aaron Cresswell might get the nod to start ahead of Arthur Masuaku on the other side of the West Ham defence.
The Hammers defenders will be up against a dangerous Arsenal side who have scored goals for fun in recent weeks, so they need to find a way to neutralise the threat of Unai Emery’s forwards this weekend.
The home side will have Pedro Obiang and Declan Rice line up at the centre of the park as they aim to stop Arsenal from dominating possession in midfield. Felipe Anderson has not managed to score in his last two league starts so he will be desperate to return to goal-scoring ways on Saturday.
Robert Snodgrass has been a real revelation for the Hammers after being handed a string of first-team starts of late as Andriy Yarmolenko is not available for selection due to injury. So he should pose a real threat down the right flank as he looks to cut in on his stronger left foot and cause for problems for the Gunners defenders.
Pellegrini could opt to start with the striking duo of Marko Arnautovic and Lucas Perez to try and exploit Arsenal’s shortcomings at the back this season. Both forwards can be a match-winner on their day so the home supporters would be hoping that the pair can work well together up top and score some goals on the day.