Arsenal vs West Ham United. Emirates Stadium, 9th August, 2015.
Arsenal will begin their 2015/2016 campaign with a home fixture against West Ham on Sunday.
And we take a look at the key elements that would play out in this game
Notably, under new manager Slaven Bilic, the Hammers playing style has changed, from an ultra-defensive long ball-playing team to a very fast attacking side which would bode well for them in the new season.
But their recent form in Europe shows that they are still adapting to the new boss’s style of play, with goalkeeper Adrian pointing it out.
“It is a different style, so we need to adapt to the new manager and the new manager needs to adapt to the team, to get a strong squad and to be perfect when we start the Premier League.”
And this adapting period could be an advantage for the Gunners or a stepping stone to creating an offset.
The notable figures that could affect this game positively for West ham is the very good buys they’ve made in Pedro Obiang and Dimitri Payet, the duo’s creativity would be invaluable to their new style of play and Dimitri Payet’s pace on the break would cause the Gunners some problem.
The Gunners approach this game on the back of a very impressive pre-season which saw them win all their games convincingly including games against Chelsea, Wolfsburg and Lyon.
Arsenal have the advantage of playing against a team that is still adapting to a new manager and new style of play, and with the news that Enner Valencia will be missing the game, West Ham’s attacking threat has been somewhat reduced significantly.
All going well, the Gunners have the personnel to comfortably dispatch this West Ham side, with Giroud particularly boasting a record of 5 goals in 5 games against them.
The hammers will be welcoming 5 players back from Injury, with the club’s website announcing that Winston Reid, Matt Jarvis, Pedro Obiang, Darren Randolph and Stephen Hendrie have all recovered well.
But Enner Valencia will be out long term, with the forward already visiting a Specialist
Andy Caroll will also be absent, with the striker still rehabilitating from a knee injury
The Gunners will be without Jack Wilshire (hair line fracture), Danny Welbeck, Tomas Rosicky and Alexis Sanchez. With Danny Welbeck and Rosicky still recovering and Sanchez just coming back from a one month break.
West Ham have not beaten the Gunners in their last 14 League attempts losing 12 times and drawing 2.
Giroud has scored five goals in the five matches he has played against the hammers.
Theo Walcott has also scored more goals against West Ham than any other top flight team player (5).
West Ham have lost the most opening Premier League games than any of the other top flight teams, with 9 loses.
Since their first meeting in 1906 the two sides have met 131 times with the Gunners triumphing 62 times, drawing 37 times and the Hammers winning 32 times
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