Facing a newly promoted side managed by The Walrus isn’t exactly my idea of an ideal game just before the interlull considering we need points quite badly – a win could see us back into the top 4, but a loss would see us down in the bottom half. I know it’s still early days, but it’s getting to that time when it’s not really early days anymore, the time when we need to be up near the top ready to break away from the chasing pack. And at any stage, if Chelsea were 11 points clear of us that would be worrying.
Personally I hope Giroud gets a start, and an evening kick off away in the east end sounds like something that could suit him more than it would Gervinho through the middle. Saying that, I would have suspected Giroud would have been better suited to facing Terry and Luiz, and Kompany and Lescott, so with the gorgeous Ivorian entering somewhat of a purple patch at least, he can’t really be dropped. It’s a weird situation where we are so desperate for Giroud to come good, I suspect most people would have him come in at the expense of a player who now has 5 goals in 7 games. Hopefully we will line up at the top with Podolski – Giroud – Gervinho but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Giroud on the bench again.
Turning our attention to the back, hopefully we can get a clean sheet as it’s been a while and that fat thing will be sure to try and exploit our frailties from set pieces and crosses. A lot of attention has be paid toward the centre pack pairing, but whoever it is come game time will need a commanding goalkeeper behind them. Mannone is still yet to convince me but I think he will need to have a strong performance as he’s sure to come under an aerial bombardment, and if he is on his game it will exude confidence in the rest of the team.
I think Per’s been unfairly left out in recent games and for me I’d like to see him come back into the frame. We need a calming influence at the back in a game like this. He’s been ill recently though and doesn’t look like he’s 100% for today so I’d imagine Vermaelen & Koscielny will be paired together again. This partnership can work but it doesn’t look convincing to me at this moment.
I reckon it’s safe to say the midfield trio of le coq, Arteta and little Santi will continue. And if they Spanish duo are on their game, there’ll be chances galore for our front three
It’ll be a tough game for sure, Upton Park is never an easy place to go to, and with the return of Andy Carroll it’ll be a tough test for the defence. We all know how big Sam likes to play, and with all the big physical players he has it his disposal, it’s likely they’ll try to kick us off the park. So there’s no doubt it’ll be a tough game today but if we turn up there’s no question we can play some quality football and get goals.
Definitely think we’ll come away with a vital three points today. We need them.
Prediction: West Ham 1 – 3 Arsenal