When and where: The Barclays Premier League match kicks-off from Upton Park at 12.30 p.m. ET. Coverage will be provided by the Fox Soccer Channel, with a delayed online stream available via FoxSoccer2Go. Those in the U.K. can watch a live stream on Sky Player.
Preview: Arsenal hope to put their first Premier League defeat of the season behind them as they head across London to face West Ham on Saturday. The Gunners had been roundly praised for their early performances this season, but familiar defensive frailties returned in conceding two goals from set pieces during a 2-1 defeat to Chelsea at the Emirates.
With Arsenal also conceding from a cross into the box against Olympiakos in midweek, their defense is firmly in focus. It is a contrast to the early weeks of the season when Arsenal’s improved stability both in defense and midfield was one of the key reasons for their good start.
However, with Per Mertesacker having been left out against Chelsea and Abou Diaby going off early with yet another injury, much of that solidity disappeared. While Diaby is expected to be out for another couple of weeks, Mertesacker looks sure to return alongside Thomas Vermaelen having missed the Champions League match on Wednesday with a virus.
To the surprise of many, on their return to the Premier League, West Ham currently sit a place above Arsenal in the table. Sam Allardyce has used his vast experience to make his side difficult to beat and they put in a typically battling display to beat a poor Queens Park Rangers side on Monday.
On-loan striker Andy Carroll made his return from an injury suffered on his debut in the victory and he is likely to start against Arsenal. The England international will hope to fully test Arsenal’s ability to deal with balls delivered aerially into the box, especially from the often quality deliveries of winger Matt Jarvis.
West ham (probable)
D: Demel, Collins, Reid. O’Brien
M: Diame, Noble
Te, Nolan, Jarvis
D: Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs
M: Coquelin, Arteta
Ramsey, Cazorla, Podolski
Prediction: Needing to a victory to reassert their credentials to challenge the Premier League elite this season, a trip to face a Sam Allardyce side will not have been high on Arsenal’s wish list. Expect West Ham to try to and unsettle Arsenal with direct balls forward to Carroll, with Kevin Nolan attempting to profit from any knockdowns. The impressive Mohamed Diame will also look to disrupt Arsenal’s passing in the midfield. The Gunners may be forced to settle for a draw.
West Ham 1-1 Arsenal
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