They may have been humbled by Manchester City at The Etihad but they still have the firepower to pick apart a struggling West Ham side. You may argue that The Hammers will be buoyed by their recent Capital One Cup win against Spurs, but their Premier League form has been poor. Sam Allardyce’s side are currently one point above the relegation zone in 17th place and have only scored 14 goals this season. The return of Kevin Nolan from suspension will help their attacking impetus but the Arsenal defence this year has shown itself to be pretty solid.
Per Mertesacker has been in fine fettle and apart from Everton, Arsenal have conceded the fewest goals in the Premier League with 17. Wenger will also be looking to rest a few key players ahead of their clash with Newcastle on November 28, so expect the likes of Mesut Ozil to be on the bench.
In other team news, Jack Wilshere will miss the game due to suspension while centre half Laurent Koscielny could return following a laceration to his knee in the Man City match.
West Ham v Arsenal Pre-Match Stats
West Ham have lost eight and won none of their last 10 Premier League games against Arsenal.
Theo Walcott has scored in his last three Barclays Premier League appearances against West Ham.
Olivier Giroud has scored three goals in his two appearances against the Hammers and Santi Cazorla has two in two.
After going seven games without a victory in the Premier League away at a Sam Allardyce team (D3 L4), Arsene Wenger has enjoyed two victories in a row.
This is Arsenal’s 100th London derby away from home in the Premier League and the Gunners have won 44 out of 99; more victories on the road than any other team in capital clashes.
West Ham have won their last three Premier League games played on December 26, scoring nine goals in the process.
Arsene Wenger’s only defeat in a Premier League game on December 26 came in 1999 (3-2 to Coventry).
Arsenal are the only side to score 6+ goals on December 26, when they thrashed Leicester 6-1 in 2000.
Carlton Cole has scored three times in three previous games on December 26.
West Ham have scored just three times in the first half of matches in the Premier League this season – a league-low proportion of 21% of their goals.