David Moyes’ side made a slow start to their season but have put up strong performances since the turn of the year. On Sunday, the Hammers will host Arsenal in a game that could be key in the battle for European places.
West Ham are seven points above the Gunners and have a good chance of qualifying for the Champions League, as they trail fourth-placed Chelsea by three points and have a game in hand.
For Arsenal, though, it appears they are already out of the top-four race. But they can still qualify for the Europa League if they maintain some consistency and finish the season strongly.
Arsenal’s porous defence could derail them against West Ham United
While much has been said about Mikel Arteta’s good work at Arsenal, there are still a lot of cracks in the team, one of them being their porous defence.
Arsenal haven’t kept a clean sheet in almost two months, which stretches to 11 games in all competitions. The last time the Gunners did not concede a goal in a game was on January 30 when they faced Manchester United at the Emirates.
This is very disconcerting for a team aiming to win the Europa League. West Ham do not have the best attack in the Premier League, but they certainly have enough firepower to capitalise on Arsenal’s leaky defence.
Apart from Manchester United, the Hammers have managed to score against every opponent they’ve faced in their last six games. So it is easy to see why Michail Antonio and co could cause Arsenal all sorts of problems.
The battle for European places heats up
With a win, West Ham will look to bolster their chances of finishing in the top four. Arsenal, however, are at risk of missing out of Europe altogether if they continue to drop points.
Currently perched in a lowly tenth place in the Premier League, Arsenal are in desperate need of points to move up the league table.
“We know we will have a really tough game; they've been in great form, they've been really consistentl they know really well what to do and how to hurt opponents,” Arteta said ahead of the match, as quoted by Arsenal.com.
The Arsenal manager continued in this regard:
“They've recruited really well, and you can start to see the things that David has done. Obviously they have a little bit more time during the week to prepare football matches and training, and I think they've been in great form, and they're a really dangerous team.”
The fact that West Ham are currently seven points above Arsenal shows how good the Hammers have been this season. They could further exacerbate the Gunners' woes if they win on Sunday.