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West Ham take on Arsenal this afternoon at the London Stadium in a match that will have huge implications at both ends of the Premier League table. Arsenal have seen their six-point lead at the top of the table cut in half after Manchester City cruised to a 3-1 win over Leicester yesterday so will be keen to reply in an emphatic manner.
For West Ham, yesterday didn’t go too badly with Everton, Leicester City and Southampton all losing which means they are still three points clear of the drop zone with games in hand. If the Hammers can get a positive result today then they will have a little bit of breathing space between themselves and the bottom three ahead of their final eight games of the season.
The match is set to kick off at 14:00 UK time and if you haven’t got a ticket for the game then you will be able to watch it via SkySports Premier League and Skysports Main event with coverage starting an hour prior to kick off.
Team News: West Ham
David Moyes took the opportunity to rest a number of key players midweek as he saw his team draw 1-1 with Gent in the first leg of their Europa Conference League quarter-final.
It is expected that Said Benrhama, Michail Antonio, Tomas Soucek, and Lucas Paqueta will all come back into the team for the match against Arsenal with Danny Ings, who scored West Ham’s only goal on Thursday night, one of the players expected to miss out.
The Ex-Aston Villa man has struggled to force his way into David Moyes’ starting lineup since moving to East London in January and has only found the net on two occasions in the Premier League for his new club so far.
The only injury concern for David Moyes is Gianluca Scamacca who is set for knee surgery. The Italian, who has only scored three Premier League goals in his debut season, will now likely miss the remainder of the campaign. When he returns next season, the 24-year-old will be determined to make more of an impression, especially with Euro 2024 just around the corner.
🇮🇹🗣️Gianluca Scamacca: “Surgery done. No doubt I’ll come back stronger than before!” pic.twitter.com/IPkiVONFVr
— West Ham Xtra (@WestHamXtra) April 15, 2023
The key man for West Ham in this game will be Declan Rice. The midfielder, who is being linked with a move to Arsenal, will be responsible for keeping Martin Ødegaard quiet. A lot of Arsenal’s best football comes when they get their Norweigan captain on the ball so Rice’s performance will likely have a big impact on the result this afternoon.
Team News: Arsenal
League leaders Arsenal have had a free week since last weekend’s 2-2 draw with Liverpool which should mean many of their key players are fresh and healthy for this one. Eddie Nketiah has returned to training this week after missing the last month with an ankle injury and is part of the squad this afternoon.
Unfortunately for Arsenal, the game has come too early for William Saliba who is still struggling with a back injury, while Takehiro Tomiyasu and Mohamed Elneny have both been ruled out for the remainder of the season.
🚨 Mikel Arteta offers crucial William Saliba injury update ahead of Arsenal's clash with West Ham
🗣️ Arteta on Saliba's absence: "William Saliba is still not available. He is progressing well and we hope he will be available in the next few weeks."
🗣️ Rob Holding expected to… pic.twitter.com/sOZ0avyRzb
— Arsenal Informer (@ars_informer) April 14, 2023
With Saliba and Tomiyasu ruled out, it is expected that Rob Holding will play next to Gabriel at the heart of the Arsenal defence with White and Zinchenko at fullback. The 27-year-old didn’t have the best of games at Anfield last week so he will be hoping for a better performance this time around.
The key men for Arsenal will likely be Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli. Between them, the two wingers have combined for 27 goals and 15 assists this season. If both men are at their best, then it’s hard to see West Ham coming away with anything this afternoon.
Fabianski – Coufal, Zouma, Kehrer, Cresswell – Rice, Soucek – Bowen, Paqueta, Benrahma – Antonio
Ramsdale – White, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney – Partey, Xhaka – Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli – Jesus
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