Arsenal have only ever lost once to West Ham at Upton Park since the Premiership began.

Paolo di Canio scored twice to give West Ham a two-goal lead back in October 1999. Davor Suker pulled one back for the Gunners with 13 minutes remaining but the game will be best remembered for the dismissals of ex-Gunner Patrick Vieira and the late Marc Vivien Foe in the final 10 minutes. Vieira was fined and suspended by the FA in the aftermath of the game.

The Hammers have of course been in the Championship for the past two seasons, so the last time the two sides faced one another at Upton Park in the Premiership was in August 2002, in Arsenal's third league fixture of the season.

Arsenal went to Upton Park as champions but were very nearly humbled by a West Ham side featuring the likes of David James, Michael Carrick, Joe Cole and Jermaine Defoe - all of whom have since moved on. 

Cole gave Glenn Roeder's men the lead that day, before Freddie Kanoute doubled their advantage after the break. A shell-shocked Arsenal responded in great style with a wonder goal from Thierry Henry , who spun his man on the edge of the box and fired an unstoppable half-volley into the top corner. Sylvain Wiltord salvaged a point for the Gunners two minutes from time.

Arsenal gained revenge for the dropped points later in the season as an Henry hat-trick buried the Hammers 3-1 at Highbury. Defoe netted for the visitors - their last goal against Wenger's team before relegation.

Arsenal's last win at Upton park came in October 2000 when a Robert Pires strike was accompanied by a Rio Ferdinand own goal to give the visitors all three points.

But for sheer volume of matches between the sides, one need look no further than the 1997/98 campaign. The London rivals squared up no less than five times over the course of the season - and Arsenal certainly came out on top against Harry Redknapp's side.

In the first meeting of the season, Arsenal were 4-0 up by half time at Highbury, with Bergkamp opening the scoring and two Marc Overmars strikes sandwiching an Ian Wright penalty.

The Gunners then travelled to Upton Park in the League Cup Quarter-Final, emerging 2-1 victors with goals from Wright and Overmars.

The two sides then met twice in the space of six days. First, there was a goalless draw at Upton Park in the league, before the Hammers grabbed a 1-1 draw at Highbury in the FA Cup. 

Ten-man Arsenal won the replay 4-3 on penalties after former Gunner John Hartson had wiped out Nicholas Anelka's opener for Wenger's men.

West Ham and Arsenal are two of a dying breed of top-flight sides who still play with two strikers. If past encounters are anything to go by, it may just be the match that sets this year's Premiership alight.

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23 Sep 2005