It’s been a tough start to the season for Arsenal. Unai Emery knew he had his work cut out for him in the first two weeks of the campaign right after the schedule was announced, and he was just hoping to grab a result in his first two matches. However, Arsenal dropped both games and now finds itself tied for last place in the Premier League with three other teams.
The Gunners are looking to dig themselves out of that hole on Saturday when they face another winless team in West Ham.
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Arsenal vs West Ham
Date and Time: August 25, 2018, 10 a.m. ET
Location: Emirates Stadium, London, England
US Television Coverage: NBCSN
Betting Line: Arsenal -1.5, O/U 2.5 and 3
It hasn’t been a good start to the season for West Ham either. The Hammers were routed 4-0 by Liverpool in their opener. They were simply outclassed in that match as Liverpool dominated every facet of it, leaving West Ham with nothing more to do than turn their sights on the following week’s game.
West Ham were more optimistic about their chances against Bournemouth last week. The Cherries don’t have the talent of Liverpool, and West Ham were playing at home. Things started well with West Ham notching the game’s first goal after Marko Arnautovic converted a penalty from the spot in the 33rd minute. Goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski was playing great too, stopping two great opportunities from Bournemouth. However, defensive collapses doomed the club and led to the Cherries tallying two goals in the span of six minutes in the second half and then holding on for a 2-1 win.
The Gunners opened their season at home against Manchester City and never stood a real chance of winning that game. City are just too talented and too deep, and they toyed with Arsenal in a 2-0 win.
Like West Ham, Arsenal were much more confident about their chances in Chelsea last weekend. The Gunners started off hot, but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan each missed sitters and it came back to bite the club in a big way. Arsenal allowed two goals in the first 20 minutes of the match due to some porous defense, and although they eventually tied the score 2-2, the defense let the club down again late. Chelsea scored 10 minutes before fulltime to deal Arsenal a 3-2 defeat.
There are some long-term injuries for Arsenal coming into this one. The back line has looked shaky through both matches this year, and if you look at the list of players hurt you see why that is the case. Center back Laurent Koscielny has been out for some time and is unlikely to return until December. His fellow defenders Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Sead Kolasinac, and Carl Jenkinson are all dealing with injuries that will sideline them until October too.
West Ham has three long-term injuries of note ahead of this game. Center back Winston Reid and forward Andy Carroll are each sidelined for the next two months with Reid overcoming a knee injury, while Carroll deals with a foot problem. Star midfielder Manuel Lanzini is also out for a considerable period of time after suffering a knee injury last month.
English Premier League Free Picks
The over looks like a great play here. Both back lines looked porous last weekend, and this line has been bumped up a bit as a result. I don’t think it was bumped up enough though considering how both teams play defense right now. Although the Gunners are hefty favorites, I think West Ham are a cheeky play to get a point and the over is the best bet on the board.
English Premier League Prediction: West Ham 2, Arsenal 2
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