West Ham vs Arsenal predictions
Arsenal’s title ambitions got a huge shot in the arm with last week’s win over Liverpool and football betting sites are expecting them to keep up the pressure at the top of the table with a win at West Ham on Sunday (2pm, Sky Sports Main Event).
The Gunners are a best-price of 4/7 in the Premier League odds to collect another three points at the London Stadium and stretch their winning run in the top flight to four games.
They’ll have taken plenty of confidence from the 3-1 success against Liverpool but have had West Ham halt their momentum once this season already.
Mikel Arteta’s men faced the Hammers just after Christmas following a 1-1 draw at Anfield and were stunningly turned over 2-0 by David Moyes’ team at the Emirates Stadium.
That was the second time this season that West Ham had beaten their London rivals following a 3-1 EFL Cup victory in November and that makes the 5/1 some betting sites are offering on a third Hammers win look a little on the large side.
A 3-0 defeat to Manchester United is hardly ideal preparation for facing an opponent you’ve only beaten once in the last 15 league games at home, but West Ham can’t be discounted from ruining Declan Rice’s return to the London Stadium.
Hammers may trip up Gunners
Strangely, there were some positives for West Ham to take out of a 3-0 loss to Manchester United having played with a bit more intent and registered 10 more shots on goal than the hosts.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t good enough to end the Hammers’ winless start to 2024 as they let themselves down defensively at Old Trafford.
The loss to United continued a rollercoaster of a season away from home, where they’ve beaten Tottenham and Arsenal but suffered heavy defeats to the likes of Fulham and Aston Villa.
At home, Moyes’ men are far more consistent and they come into this game unbeaten in their last 10 games across all competitions.
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They’ve only lost twice in the league at the London Stadium all season and while they haven’t beaten Arsenal on their own patch all that often, they’ve also only lost two of the last seven when hosting the Gunners.
Arsenal fans won’t need reminding of last season’s league meeting at West Ham when they threw away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2, a result which badly damaged their title ambitions.
This is a tricky trip for Arsenal, particularly if Lucas Paqueta makes his return from a calf injury for West Ham. The Brazilian and Mohamed Kudus, who recently returned from international duty, have been the Hammers’ standout players and elevate the team to a level where they can compete with the league’s elite teams.
Arsenal counts themselves amongst the elite these days and justified that belief with a well-deserved win over Liverpool.
The test now is whether they can back up such a strong performance on the road, where they’ve won only three of the last seven in the league.
Arsenal’s well-documented profligacy in front of goal can account for some of the blame as to why they don’t have more away points to their name and they endured a particularly bad night in the last meeting with West Ham, registering 30 attempts but no goals.
There’s a chance Gabriel Jesus’ knee injury keeps him out of Sunday’s game and without him, Arsenal’s attack loses something.
At the other end, it’s just two clean sheets in the last 10 league games for Arteta’s men and as they showed against Liverpool, they are liable to make a mistake at the back.
It all adds up to make this far from a straightforward fixture for Arsenal with gambling sites perhaps putting too much value on just one result.
West Ham have lost just four league games at home since the start of 2023 and the value may lie with backing the home side to avoid defeat at 31/20 with BetMGM.
West Ham vs Arsenal Tip 1: West Ham/draw double chance – 31/20 with BetMGM
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Coufal could have his hands full
Gabriel Martinelli was one of the stars of Arsenal’s win over Liverpool, producing his best game for a while. He was a constant menace down the Gunners’ left, making the most of the space vacated by Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Vladimir Coufal is a very different type of right-back to Alexander-Arnold, but there’s still a chance of Martinelli giving him a tough afternoon if he gets the Czech one-on-one.
Although West Ham will likely sit deep, Martinelli’s pace could make him a handful for Coufal, who gives away just over one foul per game in the league, the third-highest average amongst Hammers, and has picked up five cards in the league.
Coufal also averages two tackles per top-flight game, which is above average for the league this year and adds a little context to his fouls per game average.
The 31-year-old returned from suspension at Old Trafford last week after his sending off at Sheffield United and could be in trouble with referee Craig Pawson, who shows an above-average 4.64 yellow cars per game.
West Ham vs Arsenal Tip 2: Vladimir Coufal to be shown a card – 16/5 with William Hill
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Consider going against Saliba
Arsenal are likely to dominate possession at the London Stadium having averaged over 60 per cent per game this year, while the Hammers have the fourth lowest possession average at just over 40.
Those numbers are reflected in the various player passing props available on betting apps, with West Ham’s numbers very low and Arsenal’s very high.
Bet365 have set William Saliba’s passing line at 96.5, which, even if this game goes as expected, still seems very high.
The Frenchman attempted 89 passes in the reverse fixture against West Ham when the Gunners had 72 per cent possession and has only attempted over 97 passes five times all season from 29 league and Champions League appearances.
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The majority of those matches where Saliba had a high number of passes also came early in the season, and this particular prop bet would have only landed once since November.
Taking the under on Saliba’s passing prop, which is measured on attempts, not completed passes, caps off our West Ham vs Arsenal predictions.
West Ham vs Arsenal Tip 3: Under 96.5 William Saliba passes – 5/6 with bet365
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Chris is an experienced sports betting writer who has worked with most major bookmakers and national media outlets, such as Racing Post and ITN. He covers a wide range of sports with his favourites being NFL, rugby, football and Formula 1.