Arsenal are hoping to continue their excellent run under Mikel Arteta as they host West Ham United at the Emirates on Saturday. The Gunners have been enjoying a fruitful summer, having won the Community Shield while securing a 3-0 win over Fulham in the opening fixture.
West Ham, meanwhile, are not the most in-form teams in the league. The Hammers slumped to a 2-0 defeat to Newcastle United in their opening fixture, though they did return to winning ways by securing a 3-0 victory over Charlton Athletic in the Carabao Cup. They have the quality to upset any Premier League side but lack the application, as well as the identity.
Arsenal Vs West Ham United Tactical Preview
Arteta has no reason to shift from his 3-4-3 formation (atleast for the time being) that has given the team more balance in the defensive department. It allowed the additional centre-back in Kieran Tierney to move forward and provide offensive support. Gabriel Magalhaes, meanwhile, feature at the centre, looking to influence the game with his brilliant range of passing.
David Moyes typically uses the 4-2-3-1, and he is unlikely to shy away from it even though Arsenal may have a numerical advantage in midfield with their 3-4-3. It essentially means that the Scot will be banking on two fairly solid defensive midfielders in Thomas Soucek and Declan Rice while Jared Bowen is hoping to make an impact with his dynamic presence on the flanks.
Arsenal have five key defensive players missing in action due to injury, including Pablo Mari, Calum Chambers and David Luiz. Also, Granit Xhaka is a doubt after picking up a knock against Fulham. The Swiss international is likely to be replaced by Dani Ceballos, with Arteta likely to remain unchanged elsewhere.
Predicted Lineup (3-4-3): Leno; Holding, Gabriel, Tierney; Bellerin, Ceballos, Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Willian, Lacazette, Aubameyang.
Mark Noble is a slight doubt for West Ham heading into this game. His potential absence could pave the way for Manuel Lanzini, although Moyes himself says he is hopeful of the return of the experienced midfielder. Jack Wilshere is only other potential absentee in an otherwise fit West Ham setup.
Predicted Lineup (4-2-3-1): Fabianski; Fredericks, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Soucek, Rice; Bowen, Noble, Fornals; Antonio.
Arsenal are banking on none other than Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to once again showcase his magic on the pitch. The Gabonese international is fresh from signing a new contract and is full of confidence, after having scored a goal against Fulham in the last game. His ability to drift inside could indeed cause trouble for the West Ham defence this weekend.
For West Ham, preventing Arsenal from dominating the midfield will be crucial so Moyes will be pinning his hopes on Soucek. The Czech international has the discipline, mentality and work-ethic to nullify the influence of players like Elneny and Ceballos. At the same time, it will be interesting to see how he fares alongside Rice.
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