West Ham v Arsenal Betting Preview, Odds & Tips | 12/01/19

West Ham v Arsenal Betting Preview, Odds & Tips

James Cormack (@jamesxyyx) previews West Ham v Arsenal and provides us with his best bets for Saturday lunchtime’s Premier League clash by analysing team news, potential line-ups, head-to-head, key stats and facts and more.

West Ham v Arsenal Betting Preview, Odds & Tips

  • Date: 12/01/19
  • Time: 12:30
  • Venue: London Stadium
  • Channel: BT Sport 1

Premier League action returns at the London Stadium with what on paper will be a very competitive London derby between West Ham and Arsenal.

Both sides cruised through their respective FA Cup ties last weekend with West Ham beating Birmingham 2-0 and Arsenal easing past third-tier Blackpool.

Unai Emery will be looking to build on his sides 4-1 win at home to Fulham in their last PL outing after being trounced 5-1 at Anfield to end 2018. They will certainly need to win games like these if they are to make the top four this season, but it won’t be an easy task by any means.

West Ham come into this game with some rather sporadic form. They started December superbly, winning their first four games of the month, but since then they have lost at home to Watford and strugglers Burnley at Turf Moor as well as dropping more points at home to Brighton in their last PL game. One boost for the Hammers however, is the return of Marko Arnautovic. The Austrian saved the Hammers against Brighton, scoring 2 in 2 minutes to take his PL tally to 7 for the season. I’m sure he’ll make a nuisance of himself against a very vulnerable Arsenal backline.

There’s no doubt the home support will be looking for record-signing Felipe Anderson to do something special in this one. The ex-Lazio man has been in scintillating form since joining West Ham last summer. The Brazilian has recorded 8 goals from his left-wing role and I’m sure he’ll find himself with plenty of openings against Ainsley Maitland-Niles who likes to commit himself forward when playing as a wing-back. If Emery opts for four at the back then it’s likely that Anderson will come up against the ageing Stephan Lichtsteiner or Hector Bellerin, who’s on his way back from a calf injury.  Either way, I’m expecting Anderson to have a big impact on Saturday.

It’s been discovered that Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey will join Italian giants Juventus in the summer. I think this will be a big loss for the Gunners and I almost feel he’s been under-appreciated this season. The Welshman has registered 6 assists in the league this season, more than any other Arsenal player, despite only playing 790 minutes. To put this into context, £350,000 a-week Mesut Ozil has one PL assist in 981 minutes. Moreover, I would also say that Emery has underused Alexandre Lacazette this season. The Frenchman has made 7 appearances from the bench and seems to be brought off in every game he starts. Although Aubameyang is a great goal-scorer, I don’t think he links up play as well as Lacazette and Arsenal suffer from this, forcing them to play wider to the likes of Kolasinac/Monreal and Bellerin/Maitland-Niles who are less gifted and creative on the ball to create their chances. They are a great threat when they play as a two up front and I’ll be surprised if Emery opts against using them as a duo on Saturday.

Team News

Manuel Pellegrini has said that Samir Nasri could make his Premier League return against his former club on Saturday. More importantly, the home side seem to have striker Marko Arnautovic 100% fit after the Austrian missed 7 games due to a hamstring problem.

However, they also suffered a big blow with impressive new signing Fabian Balbuena likely to miss 6-8 weeks with a knee injury. He joins a long injury list with the likes of Winston Reid (back), Manuel Lanzini (back), Jack Wilshere (ankle), Chicarito (back) and Andriy Yarmolenko (Achilles).

Laurent Koscielny, who suffered a back spasm in the warm-up for their game against Blackpool, is back in full training along with Shkodran Mustafi. Hector Bellerin and Nacho Monreal could also return to Emery’s line-up after missing significant amounts of time over the Christmas period.

Rob Holding and Danny Welbeck are long-term absentees for the Gunners whilst Henrikh Mkhitaryan is likely to return next month.

Potential West Ham Starting XI: Fabianski, Zabaleta, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Snodgrass, Rice, Nasri, Noble, Anderson, Arnautovic.

Potential Arsenal Starting XI: Leno, Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, Mustafi, Koscielny, Kolasinac, Xhaka, Torreira, Ozil, Lacazette, Aubameyang.

Head To Head

  • All time: West Ham: 34, Draw-39, Arsenal-66.
  • Arsenal have only lost once to West Ham in their last 22 PL meetings (0-2, August 2015).

Key Stats & Facts

  • West Ham are yet to beat Arsenal in the London Stadium (D1, L1).
  • West Ham have won 1 in 6 against the top 6 this season (3-1 v Man United).
  • Summer signing Felipe Anderson has registered the most G+A’s for West Ham this season- 8G’s, 2A’s.
  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is the joint-top PL scorer this season with 14 (12 of his 14 goals have come against teams outside the top 6).
  • Aaron Ramsey, who is set to join Juventus in the summer, is the Gunners’ leading assist-maker with 6 this season (5th highest in PL).
  • Marko Arnautovic has scored 3 in 3 since his return from injury, he also scored in the reverse fixture back in August.
  • Arsenal have massively overachieved in front of goal this season, xG- 34.8, goals scored- 46. This difference of 11.2 is the highest in the PL.
  • BTTS in Arsenal’s last 5 games, 17/21 this season have had both teams scoring.

Betting Odds

  • West Ham 12/5
  • Draw 11/4
  • Arsenal- Evens

 The Verdict

This is a difficult one to call so I’m going to ignore the match result market.

Instead, I’m backing Felipe Anderson to have a big performance on Saturday. The Brazilian has been superb this season and I think he’ll have joy no matter what formation Emery goes for. He has 8 league goals this season and was rested for the most part against Birmingham last week, I fancy him to add to his goal tally this weekend at 5/2.

I also like O3.5 goals in this one. This bet came in in the reverse fixture earlier this season and I think both attacks should thrive against weak defences, especially with Balbuena missing for the home side. West Ham have conceded 32 so far this season which is the joint 2nd worst for teams outside the bottom three and have only managed 1 home clean sheet. Arsenal’s record is also dismal, conceding 31 in 21 and they’ve been unable to keep a clean sheet on the road so far (in PL).

Recommended Bets

  • Felipe Anderson to score – 5/2 (bet365)
  • Over 3.5 goals- 11/8 (Unibet)