Arsenal will have revenge on their mind once again as they travel to play West Ham in the Premier League on Sunday. The Gunners have used previous defeats to inspire convincing recent victories against Nottingham Forest and Liverpool, and will want to make it third time lucky at the London Stadium.
Much of the build up has focused on Arsenal’s celebrations after their win against Liverpool last weekend. Mikel Arteta though has insisted he has not even given the negative coverage a second’s thought.
Instead his mind has been on a crucial game against a West Ham side who Arsenal have failed to beat in their last three meetings. Arsenal may have got themselves back into the title race with a win last week, but they’ll know they still can’t afford to drop too many more points.
As a result, it’s crucial that Arteta gets his team selection spot on at the London Stadium. Luckily for him football.london‘s Arsenal writers Kaya Kaynak and Tom Canton are on hand to have their say on who he should pick.
Kaya Kaynak – Chief Arsenal correspondent
I may as well skip straight to the defence because David Raya is in the kind of form right now that makes him pretty much undroppable in my eyes.
I think Ben White looks back so I’m keeping him at right back despite Takehiro Tomiyasu’s return from the Asian Cup. I do think the Japan international can be used on the left side of defence if Oleksandr Zinchenko isn’t fit. The Ukrainian’s creativity will be sorely missed against the tightly packed West Ham defence though.
In midfield, it might seem crazy after his world class display against Liverpool last week but I’m dropping Jorginho and moving Declan Rice back as a lone pivot. I really thought Arsenal missed Kai Havertz’s ability to get around the striker in the reverse fixture at the Emirates so I’m playing him alongside Martin Odegaard in midfield.
I think Havertz is at his best when he’s got Gabriel Jesus in the nine role to combine with. I think if he’s fit he has to play. Equally I don’t think Gabriel Martinelli is at his strongest against these kind of deep defences so I’m going for Leandro Trossard on the left wing with Bukayo Saka on the right. It’s ignoring momentum and form but Arsenal can’t afford to drop points anymore.
Kaynak’s Arsenal XI vs West Ham – Raya; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Tomiyasu; Rice, Odegaard, Havertz; Saka, Jesus, Trossard.
Tom Canton – Football writer
Arsenal should not take this clash with West Ham lightly following their defeat in the League Cup and at the Emirates earlier this season. They have reason to be motivated and claim victory in the London Stadium where last season their title challenge began to crumble.
After a huge win against Liverpool going strong and keeping momentum is key and that is why Jorginho, who was man of the match last weekend, continues in midfield to support the returning Declan Rice who will be under intense pressure against his former club. Martin Odegaard will hope to persist in his fine form.
In defence the return of Takehiro Tomiyasu will be welcomed considering Oleksandr Zinchenko came off the field on Sunday with an injury. William Saliba, Gabriel Magalhaes and Ben White all start but need to avoid the yellow cards from building after they were all booked against Jurgen Klopp’s side.
With Gabriel Jesus continuing his recovery, Kai Havertz put in a top showing against Liverpool. The German is very capable of leading the line again with both Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka in scoring form.
Canton’s Arsenal XI vs West Ham: Raya; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Tomiyasu; Jorginho, Rice, Odegaard, Saka, Havertz, Martinelli