West Ham and Arsenal lock horns in this lunchtime London derby with both teams looking for three points before the rest of the division even take to the field.
Expert Tipster Prediction: There’s been a fair chunk of money for the visitors this week and we’d expect to see the price of an away win the wrong side of evens by the time the match kicks off. Arsenal are currently 11/10 to see off the Hammers which looks good given that West Ham have lost more than they’ve won at home this season.
The respective form of these two sides is almost identical coming into this match, with both teams winning one, drawing one and losing one of their last three Premier League matches. Those five dropped points are the reason Chelsea currently sit above The Gunners in the table and this will doubtless have crossed Unai Emery’s mind more than once since their convincing win at Blackpool last Saturday. After an unconvincing start, West Ham have crept into the top half of the table but are still probably not quite where their fans expect them to be. Make no mistake, Arsenal at home is a tough ask for most teams but Pellegrini’s troops are yet to show the sort of consistency that would convince a punter to part with any money. Instead, I’ll be taking the 11/10 on the away victory which looks too good to ignore even if the visitors have suffered one or two recent hiccups.
For all their attacking flair, which exists in abundance, Arsenal are still nowhere near sufficiently addressing the leaky back line that has held them back for a number of years. They’ve conceded a staggering 31 goals in just 21 league games – by far and away the most porous defence of any team in the top five – and this continues to be a problem. Luckily for The Gunners, they’re up against a West Ham team that has made a habit of shipping goals even more frequently, so you’d be entitled to expect some action in the final third when these two go at it. William Hill go 5/4 on both teams scoring and more than 2.5 goals being registered during the match, which looks absolute madness when considering the stats.
When he turns up – as he did against Brighton when West Ham were 2-0 down last week – Marko Arnautovic is a contender for being the best player outside the conventionally established top six. The Austrian forward is a handful for anyone and combines pace with power to great effect. His presence in the West Ham team has prompted me to look outside the box a little, particularly as I’d be concerned that ‘Arnie’ could open the scoring. I’ve stayed clear of the first goalscorer market here and instead opted for the less well-known ‘first player to score for their team’ option. West Ham could easily score first but if Gabonese hot shot Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang notches Arsenal’s first then I’ll be laughing all the way back to the back at 7/4!
Read More: See more Premier League predictions and betting tips for this weekend.
West Ham to win – 13/5
Arsenal to win – 11/10
Draw – 29/10
If you’re betting on a weekend football accumulator tip then our selection for this match would be Spurs to win with a -1 handicap, which is 6/5 at Bet365.
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