West Ham United will clash heads with Arsenal at the London Stadium on Sunday afternoon, hoping to produce a positive result on their home turf. The Gunners will be heading into the contest on the back of an encouraging 3-1 victory over arch-rivals Manchester United, whereas the Irons recorded a 2-1 loss to Eintracht Frankfurt in the first leg of the semi-finals of the UEFA Europa League.
West Ham United
Issa Diop, who has missed the last two games with an unfortunate ankle injury, may return to action before the end of the 2021/22 season.
“Issa is making a really good recovery and there’s always an outside chance he’ll be back before the end of the season.” – David Moyes revealed.
“We were worried and didn’t think he would be, but we think there is a good chance that he could be. But we can’t confirm that at this moment.”
However, there are little to no chances of Angelo Ogbonna being fit by the end of the season.
“Angelo has had an ACL injury but he’s back and has started running on the grass, which is great news. But the chances of being fit for some time this season… I very much doubt it.”
Craig Dawson is ineligible for selection in the Premier League match against Arsenal as he will be serving his one-match suspension on Sunday.
Takehiro Tomiyasu (calf) and Bukayo Saka remain doubtful for the upcoming fixture.
“You only know that when a player’s been out for a long spell when you put him on the pitch. He hasn’t started any matches yet. He’s lacked a bit of time on the pitch so it’s a decision we will make tomorrow.” – Arteta said on Tomiyasu.
On Saka, “Hopefully he will be fine. He had some issues in the final part of the game but he’s recovered well and we expect him to be available.”
Thomas Partey and Kieran Tierney remain sidelined for the long term.
On Partey, “He’s progressing but he had a significant injury, a recurring injury as well, so we don’t expect him to make progress that quickly to see him this season, but hopefully I am wrong.”
David Moyes will probably opt for the 4-2-3-1 formation with several tweaks from the last game. In defence, Lukasz Fabianski might get the nod over Alphonse Areola, whereas Said Benrahma looks likely to make his way back into the starting eleven. It’s highly likely that Moyes will prioritise the Europa League second leg over a league meeting with Arsenal, so the likes of Mark Noble, Nikola Vlasic, and Said Benrahma are expected to be called into action. With three of the best central defenders of the team absent, the Scottish tactician might have to shuffle the team’s overall set-up and provide the make-shift backline with more defensive cover to contain Arsenal’s counter-attacks.
On the other hand, Arteta is set to continue with his preferred 4-2-3-1 formation as well, with Eddie Nketiah expected to lead the line for the visitors on Sunday. Unlike the hosts, this is a must-win game for Arteta’s side as a win would put them within touching distance of a Champions League spot. Odegaard’s vision, Saka’s pace, and Martinelli’s ball carrying skills will be key to breaking down the West Ham defence.
West Ham United: Fabianski; Cresswell, Zouma, Rice, Johnson; Soucek, Noble; Vlasic; Benrahma, Bowen; Antonio
Arsenal: Ramsdale; Cedric, White, Gabriel, Tavares; Xhaka, Elneny; Martinelli, Odegaard, Saka; Nketiah
West Ham United 1-2 Arsenal