With the news of Wenger finally declaring the end of his two decade stay at Arsenal, it’d be easy to forget we’ve got a Premier League match against West Ham to hurdle.
Arsene Wenger’s final games will rightfully hog the headlines, but the man himself will make sure that our team keeps their heads. Hopefully the players will rally behind his cause and end this season on a high.
That starts versus the Hammers.
It’s a home game, and our form at The Emirates is far removed from our away form – which is the worst in the top four divisions in England in 2018.
Not only that, but opposition boss David Moyes doesn’t have the greatest of records against Wenger.
In terms of team news, Henrikh Mkhitaryan is back in action but the Armenian will most likely be restricted to a role on the bench, in anticipation for our real priority – Thursday’s Europa League Semi-Final first leg against Atletico.
A pattern has emerged in recent league fixtures, where several members of our team have been rested to save their legs for our European adventures. This may mean that Mesut Ozil is kept wrapped up, and that opens the door for Jack Wilshere, who has been in poor form of late.The England midfielder is in the last few games of his contract, and with a new manager inbound and the World Cup coming, Wilshere needs to step up.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang started with Alexandre Lacazette in our last game – the abysmal 2-1 loss to Newcastle – but our goal came as a direct consequence of both of these strikers linking up. They both could feature in the same way in this game. Danny Welbeck has been in decent nick of late, and with the likelihood of rotation being pretty high, Welbeck could get the nod, as well as Alex Iwobi.
Granit Xhaka and Aaron Ramsey are both fit, but one at least will most likely be left out for resting purposes. Mohamed Elneny has been in rude form lately and the Egyptian should be playing this match.
Our defence pretty much picks itself, but Shkodran Mustafi has been pretty dire in terms of high profile errors. The German could well be left out if Wenger were picking simply on form, and Calum Chambers would the probable replacement.
West Ham have drawn their last two games, versus Chelsea and Stoke – and Andy Carroll was the man that rescued a point against the Potters. The big striker has a history of scoring against us and whoever lines up against him will have their hands full.
West Ham have other threats too, but David Moyes has rotated his dangermen recently, and the one in favour right now is Joao Mario, with Lanzini on the bench. Marko arnautovic is another who is capable of producing game changing performances – in short, this game could be a toughie.
West Ham have shown real battling qualities to rescue points in their last two games, and with the side now six points away from the relegation zone, Moyes’s main task when he took over is so nearly achieved – avoiding relegation.
Still, they’ve got a really tough run-in and they’ll be looking to wrap things up as they come to The Emirates. We need to send them packing and get our winning habit back on track. For Wenger and our season.
Predicted Lineup – Cech, Bellerin, Mustafi, Chambers, Monreal, Elneny, Xhaka, Welbeck, Wilshere, Aubameyang, Lacazette.
Predicted Scoreline – 2-0 to The Arsenal