Arsenal v West Ham: Arteta's Gunners to continue positive start

Arsenal started the season with a victory and Simon Mail expects them to continue their winning start by seeing off West Ham this weekend...

Arsenal v West Ham
Saturday, 20:00
Live on Sky Sports Premier League

Arteta leading Arenal's new era

Arsenal ended last season in the perfect way after fighting back to defeat Chelsea 2-1 to win the FA Cup last month. Mikel Arteta underlined the impact he has made in little more than half a season in charge after leading the club to silverware. Victories over Manchester City and the Blues in the FA Cup, alongside a home league win against champions Liverpool, demonstrated the steel he has added to Arsenal's makeup since his appointment.

Arteta has shown he is prepared to sacrifice the team's flamboyance and possession, if necessary, in favour of being harder to beat. This paid off handsomely in the cup but significant progress is still required in the Premier League after the club could only finish eighth. The arrival of Brazilian defender Gabriel looks a major addition to the team's defence but the most important signing was the new three-year contract agreed this week by captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Arsenal's world class striker scored their final goal in the comfortable 3-0 win at newly-promoted Fulham in last weekend's opener.

Moyes needs to avoid slow start

West Ham will not look back on last season with much fondness although David Moyes' side did eventually do enough to avoid relegation. The Hammers were in serious trouble for much of the campaign but a home win over Chelsea sparked their turnaround and the side ended the season unbeaten in the final four games. Michail Antonio was their saviour with the attacker scoring eight goals in their last seven matches to keep West Ham in the top flight.

Moyes will know he cannot afford his team to start as poorly as last year which ultimately cost predecessor Manuel Pellegrini his job. West Ham's squad arguably needs an injection of quality and the sale of Grady Diangana to West Brom did not go down well after captain Mark Noble vented his anger on social media. The Hammers made an inauspicious start last weekend after a 2-0 home defeat against Newcastle. A much-changed side won 3-0 against Charlton on Tuesday, in the EFL Cup, with striker Sebastian Haller scoring twice.

Hosts warm favourites for victory

Arsenal are worthy favourites at 1.56 and are strongly fancied to start their home campaign with a victory. Their opening win at Fulham was encouraging and the team must have taken confidence from the way in which last season ended with a trophy at Wembley. Their record at home to West Ham is impressive with ten wins from their last 11 games, including the last five, in all competitions and Arteta's side can extend this run with another victory at the Emirates.

West Ham are unsurprisingly outsiders for this game but there is no appeal in siding with them at 6.60. The Irons have lost more Premier League games against Arsenal than any other opponent with 31 defeats and their opening performance against Newcastle offered no encouragement. West Ham will have to raise their level significantly and the visitors could be on the end of another defeat.

The draw is trading around the 4.70 mark and could attract interest for anyone still to be entirely convinced by Arsenal. But the last six meetings between the teams have failed to result in a draw and my money will be going on the Gunners. The signs of Arteta developing his own team are promising and this looks a generous home opener. Arsenal are worth backing but there are alternative ways of securing a bigger price on the hosts.

Aubameyang to celebrate new deal with a goal

Aubameyang's decision to stay is a huge boost for Arsenal and their prolific striker can mark his new contract by firing them to victory against West Ham. The Gabonese finisher has scored eight goals in his last six appearances for Arsenal including in each of their last four matches. This includes scoring against Man City, Liverpool and Chelsea. Aubameyang is 4/6 to find the net this weekend but combining an Arsenal win with the striker scoring increases the odds to 2.11.



Opta Stat

West Ham boss Moyes has never won away to Arsenal as a manager in any competition, drawing four and losing 15 of his 19 matches. It is 1/10 this run continues with a 20th visit without a victory.


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