4 Things Arsenal Must Do to Defeat West Ham
The Emirates stadium will see Arsenal host West Ham United in the Premier League on Saturday. It is expected that the Gunners will see this one through against a less-fancied opposition compared to the teams they have faced in the first two weeks of the season.
However, they must work hard to achieve this. Here are four things the Gunners must give attention to.
#1 The threat of Arnautovic and Hernandez
The threat of West Ham comes from their forward line of Marko Arnautovic and Javier Hernandez. Both possess different qualities which, if utilised well, can cause the Gunners some problems on the day.
Arnautovic is technically-gifted, strong, and can shoot with both feet. The likes of Sokratis and Mustafi will have to be on their toes to keep him quiet.
Hernandez poses a different threat. The pacy Mexican can be dangerous on the break for the Hammers as well as beating the offside trap for a team like Arsenal under Unai Emery who plays with a very high defensive line.
The Gunners will have to ensure that they cut supply from the midfield to these strikers. The likes of Mark Noble and Jack Wilshere will have to be stopped in their tracks.
#2 West Ham's biggest weakness - Full-backs
The likes of Pablo Zabaleta and Arthur Masuaku can cave into incessant pressure. Zabaleta is no longer in his prime and Masuaku has not fully adapted to the pace of the Premier League.
The likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alex Iwobi, as well as Hector Bellerin should seize every opportunity to take them on in the game. In a game of this stature, they should be tested frequently.
#3 Improved final balls and finishing
Emery has a lot of work to do on the team's finishing and ruthlessness in front of goal. The Gunners are blessed with so much attacking talent that there is no excuse for their profligacy in front of goal.
In the game against Chelsea, the likes of Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan were guilty of missing gilt-edged chances. They cannot afford to do this against West Ham. What's more, they need to score goals aplenty to make up for the deficit of the goals conceded in the last two games.
#4 Matteo Guendouzi will be key
It seems ironical to say this considering the fact that his signing was not greeted by much applause by the media and fans. The Frenchman has been particularly impressive in large spells for the past two games of the season.
His ability to thread passes in between the lines of the West Ham defence will be key to unlocking it, especially considering the fact that the Hammers could come to the Emirates and put a lot of defenders behind the ball.
His mobility to get the ball behind for the attackers will be key to unlocking a "potentially stubborn" Hammers defence.