Arsenal are down at the South Coast of England today to try and secure their third win in seven days and ensure a place in the Top Four this evening. Arsene Wenger set out a defensive side for the tight gane at West Ham and is likely to adopt the same tactics this afternoon.
The Gunners defence has been fortified by the return of Laurent Koscielny, and against the Hammers Arsenal played with two defensive midfielders in Flamini and Coquelin and Wenger has been very pleased with the recent performances. “We had two derby games over Christmas which had big intensity for different reasons,” Wenger said. “In the first one we played with 10 men for 40 minutes and in the second game we were confronted with a very committed game and I felt that the focus and desire was absolutely outstanding.
“Overall we came out with two good results and deserved them, and we are more stable because we have better defensive stability and have more experience at the back.
“When you look at the Stoke game we were caught a bit by our lack of experience. Defensively the experience plays a big part in the stability.”
“What we want is to be more consistent in our defending in 2015 because I feel that, compared to last season, we have improved a lot in the big games,”
“We go into a period where every game matters now and our defensive consistency is very important.
“You would expect our goal tally to be even higher in 2015. We have not been let down by the goals we have scored. We want to improve our defensive focus and I think what was very interesting at West Ham is that all 11 players were focused on defending well together.
“If we want to improve, that’s where we need to be consistent.”
I can see Wenger aiming to not concede as the basis for this game, and hopefully Alexis will come up with one of his usual bits of magic to give us all three points.