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Arsenal continue their push for a return to the Champions League as they travel across London to face West Ham at the London Stadium.
Mikel Arteta has steadied the Arsenal ship of late after a damaging run of three consecutive defeats, but with Tottenham just two points behind them, the Gunners know they cannot afford many more slip-ups.
West Ham still have European aspirations of their own, and they will know they cannot rely on winning this season's Europa League following their semi-final first leg defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt.
Arsenal have an exceptional record against West Ham, and they will be hoping for that to continue as we appraoch the business end of the Premier League season.
When: Sunday, May 1, 16:30 GMT
Where: London Stadium
Where to watch: Sky Sports
Who is the ref for West Ham vs Arsenal
The soon-to-be retired Mike Dean has been appointed to this game, which tends to add an extra layer of dramatics in itself.
Dean has taken charge of two Arsenal games already this season, with the London outfit drawing one and winning one.
That said, West Ham have also lost their only match with Dean in charge, meaning he is far from a lucky omen for either side.
Dean will be assisted by Simon Bennett and Harry Lennard with Sian Massey-Ellis on VAR duty. Season stats 2021/22: Premier League matches (22), yellows (70), reds (2), penalties (5)
There is no doubt that West Ham have stalled a little of late after being superb for most of the season. The Hammers have harboured hopes of finishing in the top four during this campaign, but they have won just once in their last five games.
They haven't won in the Premier League since a 2-1 success over Everton back at the start of April.
Arsenal, meanwhile, appear to have come through a major blip that briefly threatened their whole season. Successive defeats to Crystal Palace, Brighton and Southampton were followed by wins over Chelsea and Manchester United. You would probably describe that form as 'erratic,' but it has put them back in charge of the Champions League race for now.
West Ham and Arsenal players in form
Arsenal's return to form has coincided with Eddie Nketiah getting a chance up front, and he seems to have grasped that chance with both hands, scoring twice in the 4-2 away win over Chelsea.
Bukayo Saka has also been among the goals lately, scoring a penalty in each of his last two games. West Ham have been struggling for form in general so no one is really shining of late, although the ever impressive Declan Rice continues to shine.
Last three matches
Arsenal 2-0 West Ham (December 15, 2021)
This one was David Moyes' 600th game in his managerial career and it was not a happy one for him. Second-half goals from Gabriel Martinelli and Emile Smith Rowe handed Arsenal what was ultimately a pretty routine win at the Emirates. They even had the luxury of a missed Alexandre Lacazette penalty.
West Ham 3-3 Arsenal (March 21, 2021)
The corresponding fixture last season was a bit of a thriller, but again probably not if you're a West Ham fan. The Hammers looked like they were absolutely cruising after 32 minutes thanks to goals from Jesse Lingard, Jarrod Bowen and Tomas Soucek. Soucek scored an own goal just six minutes later to give Arsenal hope, and Craig Dawson did the same on the hour. Lacazette proved the hero for Arsenal with an equaliser just eight minutes from time.
Arsenal 2-1 West Ham (September 19, 2020)
Arsenal got the better of the this one too thanks to another late goal. Lacazette handed the Gunners the lead midway through the first half, but Michail Antonio hauled the Hammers back level on the stroke of halt-time. Nketiah, who is a man in form right now, pinched the winner with just five minutes left on the clock.
Last ten matches
West Ham wins: 1 Draws: 2 Arsenal wins: 7 West Ham scored: 9 Arsenal scored: 21
West Ham manager David Moyes shared his thoughts on the Arsenal boss, saying: I think he’s done a really good job. They were in the semi-finals of the Europa League last year and it shows how well they’ve come on from what they’ve done last year.
"They have continued to build this year. Sometimes, missing out on European football has an advantage and gives you the chance to concentrate a little bit more on the league, but when you’re a big club, you want to be in Europe."
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta on whether the fight for top four is a two-horse race: "I don’t think so, there will still be some twists and turns, we all have difficult matches to play.
"We all know how difficult it is to win games in the Premier League and now we had two really good results that put us in a really good position. But it is about doing it again at West Ham."
West Ham vas Arsenal predicted teams
Possible West Ham starting line-up: Fabianski; Coufal, Johnson, Zouma, Cresswell; Rice, Soucek; Yarmolenko, Vlasic, Bowen; Antonio
Possible Arsenal starting line-up: Ramsdale; Cedric, White, Gabriel, Tavares; Xhaka, Elneny; Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli; Nketiah
West Ham vs Arsenal prediction
West Ham don't have the best record after European matches this season, and there is little doubt the game against Frankfurt will have taken plenty out of them. Arsenal, meanwhile, should be fresher and have a great record against the Hammers, so let's go with a 3-1 away win.
The article West Ham vs Arsenal news: In-form Gunners hoping to extend Hammers hoodoo appeared first on Planetsport.com.