Arsenal are firmly back in the Premier League title race and now eyeing revenge against West Ham for the defeat they suffered at the Emirates Stadium at the end of 2023.
The Gunners beat Liverpool 3-1 last weekend in a result that breathed new life into their title charge. Following it up with a win away at London Stadium would breed even more confidence as Mikel Arteta tries to go one better than last season’s second-place finish.
There were two or three potential casualties from the Liverpool victory, leaving Arteta with a few decisions to make ahead of his side’s trip across London.
Here’s the team the Spaniard may choose for Arsenal‘s visit to West Ham on Sunday.
GK: David Raya – Would have been pleased it was Alisson who stole the headlines with a goalkeeping error in last weekend’s big fixture, meaning he can continue as Arsenal’s number one without too much attention.
RB: Ben White – There is a bit more competition for this place now Takehiro Tomiyasu has returned from the Asian Cup, but White is certainly still the first choice at right-back.
CB: William Saliba – Produced a rare piece of bad defending against Liverpool which led to Gabriel’s own goal, but it will take more than that for Saliba to come in for genuine criticism.
CB: Gabriel Magalhaes – A clean sheet will be what Gabriel wants from this clash, given West Ham’s forwards are not in the best form right now.
LB: Takehiro Tomiyasu – With Oleksandr Zinchenko expected to miss out through injury and Jakub Kiwior’s time at left-back not being too successful, Tomiyasu could come straight back into this position after his return from the Asian Cup.
CM: Martin Odegaard – The Norwegian was the subject of many headlines after the Liverpool match due to how much he enjoyed the victory. Expect an even bigger celebration if he scores against West Ham.
CM: Declan Rice – Had a really poor game when these two teams last met, and while he wouldn’t say it publicly out of respect for the fans, Rice will want to show why Arsenal paid his former team so much for his services with an impressive performance here.
CM: Jorginho – Had a tremendous game against Liverpool and with Kai Havertz needed elsewhere, Jorginho is expected to start again in midfield.
RW: Bukayo Saka – There is a little bit of doubt about Saka’s fitness for this match after he came off against Liverpool, but Arteta did not seem very concerned.
ST: Kai Havertz – With Gabriel Jesus expected to miss out again, mainly as a precaution, Havertz should get the nod in attack over Eddie Nketiah.
LW: Gabriel Martinelli – Another player who impressed against Liverpool, Martinelli will try to build on that with a goal or two here.