West Ham v Arsenal: London rivals can both find the net

West Ham have their eyes on a trip to Frankfurt, but Kevin Hatchard still believes their London derby against Arsenal will be entertaining.

Hammers looking to dull Europa pain

It's quite an achievement to quieten a crowd of thousands of people, but Eintracht Frankfurt did just that at the London Stadium on Thursday in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final. Ansgar Knauff's first-minute goal put West Ham on their heels, and although the Hammers rallied with a Michail Antonio equaliser, Daichi Kamada's second-half winner gave the Eagles a 2-1 lead to take back to Germany next week.

West Ham boss David Moyes now has a big decision to make. Does he rest all of his key players and fully focus on next week's trip to Deutsche Bank Park, or does he keep the league campaign on track? Despite picking up just four points from the last five games, the Hammers could still conceivably finish in the top six. A win would move them above Manchester United into sixth, with three games to go.

Considering they have been fighting on two fronts, West Ham's home form in the Premier League is pretty strong. They are unbeaten in six, a run that stretches back to mid-January. Moyes' men have beaten Liverpool, Spurs and Chelsea in Stratford, and have only lost four times at home in the top flight.

Craig Dawson is suspended for this one, after he was dismissed against Chelsea. With Issa Diop and Angelo Ogbonna already out injured, it means that full-backs like Aaron Cresswell and Ben Johnson may have to line up in the back three. The return of Kurt Zouma from injury has been well timed. It remains to be seen whether star players like Declan Rice, Michail Antonio and Jarrod Bowen will start here, or whether they'll be kept fresh for Frankfurt.

Gunners have reignited their flame

In this undulating, chaotic race for Champions League football, Arsenal are currently on a peak rather than in a trough. Mikel Arteta's side looked to be grinding to a halt after suffering three straight defeats against Crystal Palace, Brighton and Southampton, but wins against Chelsea and Manchester United have got them back on track. The mantra around the Emirates these days is "trust the process", and never has that been more appropriate.

The data tells you that Arsenal are fourth on merit. They are fourth based on Expected Points, and our friends at Infogol have them fourth in their xG model too. However, both metrics also have Spurs in fifth and not too far behind, so this is a race that's far from run on the pitch and in the football lab.

It has to be borne in mind that Arsenal have been able to wage their Premier League campaign untroubled by other distractions. They were knocked out early in the FA Cup, their League Cup campaign ended in January and they have had no European entanglements. If Arsenal are to qualify for Europe - and it seems as thought they will in some way, shape or form - Arteta will have more juggling to do next term.

Thomas Partey and Kieran Tierney are still on the sidelines, while Bukayo Saka has returned to training after a thigh strain.

Gunners a bit too short

Arsenal are priced at 1.8 in the Match Odds market here, and I feel like that's based on the assumption that West Ham are fully focused on the trip to Germany. West Ham's home record is good, and they tend to raise their game against the top sides, so I'm not sure I could back Arsenal with any excitement at that price.

Both teams can find the net

I'm pleasantly surprised to see Both Teams To Score trading at a healthy 1.86. Arsenal have scored in eight of their last 10 away games in the top flight, and West Ham have seen both teams find the net in 13 of their last 17 PL home games. Indeed, you have to go back to last May for the last time the Hammers didn't score at home in a league game.

If you want to boost that price, you could use the Bet Builder to back BTTS and Bukayo Saka to have a shot on target at 2.84. The England international is averaging 0.91 shots on target per 90 this season, his highest ever seasonal figure. Alternatively, Emile Smith Rowe can be backed in that double instead at 2.56. He has ten league goals this season, and averages 1.17 shots on target per match in the Premier League.

Granit worth considering

Arsenal's Granit Xhaka is on a high after smashing in a stunning long-range goal against Manchester United, but the Swiss international also picked up his eighth yellow card of the PL season in that game. He has been booked in three of his last six matches in the top flight, and he has also been sent off twice in competitive football this term. The pressure's on, and West Ham are a physical side, so I think a price of 13/8 for Xhaka to be shown a card is reasonable.

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