West Ham host Arsenal at the London Stadium in the final game of the Premier League weekend, with both sides desperate for three points.
The hosts have been awful of late, but the visitors have been worse – meaning we’re either going to be in for a tense, nervy affair or an open, see-saw battle between two teams who are bereft of confidence.
The Hammers lay 16th after a rotten of results, though they did inexplicably beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last weekend against the odds. The Gunners, meanwhile, haven’t won in nine games in all competitions, eight of those coming in the Premier League – their worst run of results since 1977.
With the phrase all to play for, particularly in the managerial departments, very much the order of the day, here’s all the key facts and stats, courtesy of Opta, to whet your appetite before kick-off – with some making pretty grim reading for both sides…
Hammers Home Struggles
West Ham haven’t been particularly good all season, but their wretched run of results has left most supporters (me) feeling pretty downbeat about life.
Last season though, they triumphed 1-0 over Arsenal – thanks to a corker of a strike from Declan Rice. The problem is, West Ham haven’t won back-to-back home league games against Arsenal for 35 years – with a trip back to October 1984, via Stranger Things, required in order to find the last time they did.
About time that changed, some might say.
Who Better Than West Ham?
Back in 2001, those of us who indulged in watching the World Wrestling Federation, especially the Invasion angle, were left asking one question: Who Better Than Kanyon?
It turned out, multiple people were. But in this particular instance, there really is no better opposition for Arsenal to face in order to wake from their slumber than West Ham.
The Gunners have won 12 times in the Premier League era in east London, the most success they’ve had at any ground – alongside Everton and Aston Villa.
Couple that with the fact that only Manchester United have won more times on a Monday than Arsenal, while West Ham have lost more times on a Monday than anybody else, and you begin to see light beaming out of a very distant tunnel.
Away Day Miseries
And it’s potentially a big but for West Ham.
History may be on Arsenal’s side, but nothing else has been this season. The Gunners have won just one of their last 11 Premier League away games, and triumphed in only two of their last 12 away London derbies – form that really doesn’t bode well for this fixture.
Once you add to the mix the fact that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been involved in ten goals in his last ten games (eight goals and two assists), but has never scored against West Ham in three appearances – his worst record against any side in the league – and you may start blowing bubbles after all.
Flippin’ Hell Felipe
Back to West Ham now and back to more miserable statistics, including a rather ordinary one involving winger Felipe Anderson.
The Brazilian cost the best part of £40m last summer and initially looked to be rather handy, taking on defenders, scoring goals and setting more up for fun. He’s seemingly had enough of that though, and hasn’t been involved in any goal for 553 minutes – or eight games, the majority of which he’s been hooked in.
The Hammers also are in the worst form in the league based on their last eight games, picking up just four points. They’ve also lost their last two home games, which conceivably could become three with another dour performance.
📋 Here’s our team news for tonight…
🇨🇮 Pepe starts
🇧🇷 Martinelli also in the XI
🏴 Tierney comes into back four
🏴 Chambers partners Sokratis #WHUARS
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) December 9, 2019