The Breakdown

The Breakdown: West Ham v Arsenal preview

We are back in Premier League action on Wednesday when we travel to the London Stadium to take on West Ham United.

Ahead of the game, tactical expert Michael Cox and former Gunner Adrian Clarke examine our opponents in detail.


MC: Despite suffering relegation with Sunderland last season, David Moyes was appointed as replacement for Slaven Bilic after West Ham’s defeat to Liverpool last month. A 4-0 thrashing at his former club Everton didn’t indicate too much promise, but the Hammers’ controlled, efficient 1-0 win at Chelsea on Saturday proved that Moyes has already improved the side’s defensive structure.


MC: Moyes used a 3-4-3 system against Chelsea on Saturday, and that performance was so impressive, particularly without the ball, that it would be a surprise if he veers away from that formation here. 

AC: It’s going to be a physical challenge for Arsenal in this game and they are going to have to be on it from the start because West Ham have their tails up. That victory over Chelsea will have undoubtably put a spring in their step and they will feel that a double derby victory, the Chelsea and Arsenal scalp, could reignite their entire season. For them, they will be highly motivated. Arsenal cannot, I repeat cannot, afford another slow start.


MC: It might be premature to speak about West Ham being entirely solid at the back after some dreadful concessions under Bilic, but Winston Reid is excellent in the air, Angelo Ogbonna good in a positional sense and Aaron Cresswell has tucked inside to play the left-sided centre-back role effectively.


MC: Manuel Lanzini is a tremendously talented, elusive playmaker who drifts inside from wider positions to orchestrate West Ham’s attacks. He must be watched carefully here.

AC: Moyes is getting players into form, and I think he’s got Lanzini into the right position now. That’s a central area, with Arnautovic playing on the left-hand side and he scored last time out. We know that he’s a dangerman when he’s on his game. 


MC: For all his attacking energy, left-wing back Arthur Masuaku isn’t the most reliable player in a defensive sense, while on the opposite flank Pablo Zabaleta can be found wanting in terms of speed.


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