Arsenal travel to West Ham today for a very tricky game against our London rivals. We may have beaten them 3-1 in the reverse fixture but it was far from easy, and Manual Pelligrini has got his team playing with confidence after a rocky start. Amazingly the Hammers have only lost twice in their last nine games, including six wins so it will be far from easy for the Gunners.
Our old keeper Lukasz Fabianski believes West Ham are going to give us a tough game. “When I look at our team, it’s full of quality and I think that, when someone is missing because of injury or any other issues, it doesn’t really affect us because we still know that whoever is going to replace him has so much quality about him that we’re not really losing anything,” he told the official West Ham website.
“When you look at our squad, there is loads of quality and that gives us the belief that we’re going to compete, even if there are important players missing.”
He also thinks that the Hammers are on course not to finish too far below Arsenal by the end of the season. “We are in a strong position to finish around the seventh place,” Lukasz continued. “We’re in a group of teams divided by only two or three points, which is only one result going differently, so we’re in our own little league.
“We want to try to finish as high as possible, so we’re all going to aim for that. We want to get as much as we can from the rest of the season.”
The Hammers also have other Arsenal old boys in Perez, Wilshere and Noble and of course Sami Nasri is likely to make his debut today too. But they have a very long injury list as well. Fabian Balbuena, Winston Reid, Manuel Lanzini, Carlos Sanchez, Jack Wilshere, Andriy Yarmolenko, Ryan Fredericks and Chicharito are all unavailable, but we have also had a glut of injuries ourselves.
I have reported on how many Gunners have returned to training but without knowing how many are actually fit enough to play makes it nearly impossible to predict the Arsenal team. I am hoping to see at least a few of Bellerin, Ozil, Mustafi and Monreal return but there are no guarantees as yet.
If we don’t get any semblance of a defense back on the pitch then we could have reasons to worry today, especially as we haven’t won any of our last four away games. I’m really hoping we can outscore the Hammers but my head is telling me to expect a 2-2 draw…