West Ham United v Arsenal betting preview
For older fans, this fixture will always conjure up memories of the famous 1980 FA Cup Final when West Ham, then a Second Division club, defied the odds to defeat Cup holders Arsenal in the Wembley sunshine. The Hammers desperately need to produce another upset victory on Sunday as they bid to end a run of seven games without a win and haul themselves out of the relegation zone. Off-field events have dominated the headlines in East London this week, with a multinational consortium reportedly lining up a $220 million takeover bid for the Upton Park club and there is no doubt that beleaguered boss Gianfranco Zola would welcome any such move if it freed up some funds for him to bolster his under-performing squad.
As it stands, however, Zola will have to make do with the players that he presently has at his disposal and they face a stern test in overcoming the Gunners who have lost only once in their last seven visits to their London neighbours.
Although slightly disappointing in their Champions League draw with AZ Alkmaar in midweek, the Gunners have won their last four league games, rattling in no fewer than fourteen goals in the process.
Arsene Wenger will be without Theo Walcott who damaged knee ligaments against Birmingham and will be sidelined for at least a month, along with fellow-midfielder Tomas Rosicky who also has a knee injury. Samir Nasri may be in line for a place on the bench, however, after marking his return from a broken leg by turning out for the reserves earlier in the week.
Although a little vulnerable at the back, Arsenal have been irresistible going forward in recent weeks and it is hard to see West Ham’s porous defence keeping them at bay. The home side will undoubtedly show plenty of commitment, but the visitors’ attacking flair should see them prevail in some style.