I know that every single game is now a must-win fixture for Arsenal, but Saturday’s visit to Upton Park is even more important that that! A win will not only keep us ahead of the chasing pack (which includes the Hammers) but will also keep us in the hunt for the title if Leicester start slipping up.
Arsene Wenger has made it clear that he will not be making many changes from the Arsenal starting XI that destroyed Watford, as he said today: “I’m always reluctant to change what works,”
“[It is] down to the confidence gained from our last two games. Team play has improved in those games and our game is based on mobility, speed and technique. We have found a good balance in our game.”
One change that I am certain will make is to bring Petr Cech back in place of David Ospina. I know that the Colombian has performed admirably during Cech’s absence, but the Czech international will bring even more confidence to our back line.
So this is the Arsenal starting XI I am sure that Wenger will pick on Saturday:
Bellerin, Gabriel, Koscielny, Monreal
Iwobi, Ozil, Sanchez
This outfield side has scored six goals without reply in our last two games, so it is very understandable that Wenger won’t disrupt the side, even if Ramsey is back to full fitness. Wenger knows there is no room for error at all: “We know that we need nearly the perfect run and we know as well that we don’t look only in front of us, we look behind us as well.” Le Prof continued. “We are chased by a group of teams who can make it very difficult for us so we have just to focus on our performance and hope we finish [the season] in a very strong way.
“As long as it’s mathematically possible, there’s a strong possibility [Arsenal can catch Leicester]. You look at the difficulty of the Premier League and they have been very consistent but every game is very, very tight. That can go the other way.”
That’s what we are all hoping for Arsene, but it won’t mean anything unless we beat West Ham first to crank up the pressure.
Onwards and Upwards!