Arsenal host West Ham United in the Premier League on Sunday hoping to build some momentum for their upcoming Europa League semi-final against Atletico Madrid.
The Gunners are out of the running for a top four finish in the league, but manager Arsene Wenger will be eager to ensure his players maintain their focus against the Hammers.
Wenger’s announcement that he will step down at the end of the season will end a 22-year association with Arsenal and success in the Europa League would be the perfect way to finish at the club.
Sunday’s game pitches Arsenal against a West Ham side desperately looking to steer clear of trouble this season. Andy Carroll’s late goal against Stoke City on Monday earned a valuable point for West Ham, leaving them six points clear of the relegation zone with five matches remaining.
Arsenal are priced at 5/9 to win the game, with West Ham on offer at 19/4 and the draw available at 7/2. Use this ComeOn voucher code to boost your winning wagers on the match.
The Arsenal injury news tells us that Henrikh Mkhitaryan is back in training but won’t be fit for Sunday’s game, and Jack Wilshere is still out with an ankle injury. Aaron Ramsey is expected to return to the squad, while goalkeeper David Ospina is available again following his injury lay-off, although he is more likely to get a game against Atletico. Of course our little Spanish midfielder Santi Cazorla remains a long-term absentee with an achilles problem.
James Collins could return for the Hammers, but Michail Antonio, Pedro Obiang, Winston Reid and Sam Byram are all on the sidleines.
Wenger could rest a number of players with the Europa League semi-final on the horizon, but whoever he brings in will undoubtedly be keen to impress.
Alex Iwobi and Sead Kolasinac could start, while Calum Chambers or Rob Holding may fill in for Laurent Koscielny, with the Frenchman carefully managing his troublesome achilles problem.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is expected to return up front and could play alongside the in-form Danny Welbeck.
Arsenal have won 14 and drawn four of their last 19 meetings with West Ham, with their only defeat coming at the Emirates Stadium in 2015. The visitors can be backed at 30/1 to match the 2-0 scoreline again this weekend.
The Gunners have only failed to score in one of their last 31 home league games – a 3-0 defeat against Manchester City in March.
Aubameyang has been involved in eight goals in his opening eight Premier League games for Arsenal – six goals, two assists. He is priced at 49/20 to open the scoring on Sunday.
Wenger’s decision to leave the club is likely to fire up his players this weekend and the Gunners look a decent bet at 19/10 to beat West Ham without conceding a goal.