English Premier League leaders Arsenal return to action after an international break and will host West Ham United in their return to action. The Gunners have a five-point lead over the defending champions, Manchester City, and are eyeing a league title. West Ham United are struggling in the bottom half of the table and will be keen on getting at least a point away from the leaders.
Arsenal have won 12, drawn one, and lost one match this season. They are on a three-match winning streak and go into this match as the favourites. This season, Mikel Arteta’s team has scored 33 goals with an xG rate of 2.05. The defence has conceded 11 goals with an average xGA of 0.84.
West Ham United sit 16th in the league table with four wins, two draws, and nine losses. They are on a three-match losing streak and are struggling to find momentum this season. The Hammers have only scored 12 and conceded 17 goals. They average 1.46 xG and 1.04 xGA per match.
Arsenal’s positional play and West Ham’s counterattacks
Arsenal have the best positional attack efficiency in the league this season. This is one of the biggest reasons behind their early-season success. The Gunners create 34.43 positional attacks and 1.86 counterattacks per match. The Hammers, on the other hand, create 28.67 positional attacks and 1.87 counterattacks per match. Their efficiency for positional attacks is low, but it is high for counterattacks. Against Arsenal, they are likely to hit them on the counter.
The Gunners managed to take 14.2 shots per match this season. They have a high accuracy rate of 40.7%. It can be observed that Arsenal like to score most of their goals from inside the penalty box. They create plays and try to penetrate the box. West Ham United’s defence will have to remain on their toes.
West Ham United take 12.4 shots per match and have an accuracy rate of 30.6%. The Hammers have failed to convert most of their chances and this is the reason behind their struggles. The manager will expect his team to be more clinical in this match.
With Gabriel Jesus out injured, club captain Martin Odegaard holds the responsibility for scoring goals. The Norwegian scored a brace in the last match and became the top goalscorer for the Gunners this season. All of the attacking midfielder’s goals have come from inside the penalty box. He likes to get on the end of a few plays and has given the finishing touch on a few occasions this season. The player will look to contribute more in this match.
Bukayo Saka will be the main threat to West Ham United’s defence. The 21-year-old had a decent World Cup with England. Saka has four goals and six assists to his name this season, and he will be eager to add more assists to his name. The winger is active on set-piece duties on the right side. He can also provide an assist or two from corners or free-kicks.
Arsenal will be without their main striker, Gabriel Jesus. The Brazilian is likely to remain out of action in the upcoming matches. Oleksandr Zinchenko and Emile Smith-Rowe are also in doubt for this match.
The visitors also have a few injury concerns. Gianluca Scamacca came off in the last match after sustaining a minor injury. Michail Antonio and Kurt Zouma also missed the recent friendly.
Arsenal will have the upper hand over their London rivals. The Gunners have only lost one match this season and dropped five points overall. West Ham United are struggling in the bottom half of the table, and they will have to be at the top of their game to take three points from this match.
Visuals via TFA data viz engine