Arsenal v West Ham United: Gunners should be too strong for Hammers
West Ham travel across the capital to face Mikel Arteta's Arsenal on Saturday, and Alan Dudman is firmly behind the Gunners picking up a comfortable win....
Arsenal v West Ham United Saturday 15:00
Gunners unbeaten in seven as Arteta's rebuild continues
There's no denying Arsenal are harder to beat under Mikel Arteta, and are certainly less of a "soft touch" these days than under previous manager Unai Emery, but it still doesn't look altogether there at the moment at the Emirates. The rebuild may take some time, although the "silly season" was clearly in affect following their painful Europa League exit at the hands of Olympiakos with calls on phone-ins for Arteta to go.
The blooding of young players is certainly a plus under the progressive Spaniard, with the likes of Eddie Nketiah and wing-back Bukayo Saka coming through. But the defending recently against Everton in the 3-2 home win was a display of calamitous proportions - like the old Arsenal. The back four was all over the place for the goals, it was only thanks to talisman Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang and his brace that they collected the points.
That performance has got to be in the back of your minds as a bettor - especially with goals in mind. Arsenal had previously kept two clean sheets against Burnley and Newcastle, although the Magpies played so deep in that, footprints were made in nearby Finsbury Park.
Overall, it's seven out of 10 for Arteta, as his team are seven unbeaten in the Premier League (W3 D4) - which is the longest current unbeaten run in the division. They also showed a bit of character in winning at Portsmouth on Monday, especially as the Europa League defeat had left the players very down according to the boss.
Hammers briefly out of relegation mire
West Ham's 3-1 victory last weekend against Southampton briefly assuaged some of those realistic relegation fears - something that was mirrored slightly too on the Exchange with the Hammers now trading at 3.65 to go down. They certainly wouldn't have enjoyed Watford's 3-0 win against Liverpool, as both are now on 27 points. Aston Villa are only two behind.
There was a bit of cheer to the demeanour of David Moyes following that display, although he did find a negative, as he was disappointed the Londoners didn't score more than three considering the amount of chances they had. His puzzling quotes beforehand about Jarrod Bowen were hardly inspiring, but the new signing rounded off a good game with a neat finish following some excellent movement. He wasn't cheap from the Championship, but he's already a better acquisition than Jordan Hugill was, who Moyes signed in his first spell in charge.
Bowen looks good, and I've also been impressed with the young right-back Jeremy Ngakia. His performances against Liverpool and Southampton were excellent.
Beating the Saints was West Ham's first win in 10, so we shouldn't get too carried away. But there was improvement, and they played fairly well at Anfield against Liverpool previously.
Moyes also has a dreadful record against Arsenal - he hasn't won any of his 15 away games against them. I assume when the Scot mentioned at his press conference he "wins games", that he was ignoring those particular stats.
Choosing between these two comes with negatives and positives. West Ham's best pair of performances under Moyes have both been at home with a 4-0 win against Bournemouth, and the latest one against Southampton.
Their away form makes me wary of getting involved despite the tempting figure of 6.20 on offer. Moyes' men have lost all five of their previous away games in the Premier League, and the historical record against the Gunners is awful - with just two wins in their last 23 matches with the north Londoners. The Hammers did create plenty of chances against Southampton, and recorded a far better xG of 2.17 in that. But can they back it up?
And then we have Arsenal - who offer little value at 1.60. Yes, they are by far the likeliest winners, but it's not a price I can get involved with.
I backed Leicester-1 in the 4-1 victory against Hammers, and that is an option I do like to explore with these sort of markets. And we can back up that bet with an Opta stat, as Arsenal have scored at least three goals in 12 of their last 16 Premier League matches against West Ham -including each of their last three at the Emirates.
On the Asian Handicap -1, the hosts are 1.93, which is acceptable, but backing in the West Ham +1 market, we should get that price to around 2.74, as they are certainly capable of scoring twice.
Look no further than Auba to net
We've already put our betting boots on with Arsenal good for a couple of goals, so it's likely Aubameyang will be a popular choice in the First Goalscorer and To Score picks for many. The Gabon forward hit his 18th and 19th of the season in the Premier League against Everton, and that took his tally to 49 goals in just 74 matches. If he scores his 50th at the weekend, he'll be the fastest to reach that milestone since Joe Baker in 1963.
Expect around 2.00 To Score, whether Alexandre Lacazette starts is another matter, although his six Premier League goals have all been at home this season. The French forward recently had to play down speculation linking him with a move away from north London. The 28-year-old has never played Champions League football for Arsenal.
Neither are adroit at keeping clean sheets - with the Hammers only on three for the season on the road, and the hosts with just three in nine. Therefore it's no surprise to see the Both Teams To Score price at 1.72, as both defences do give chances. However, it's too short, and I'd rather back Aubameyang at 2.00.