Arteta’s side came back from 3-0 down to rescue a 3-3 draw versus West Ham in this fixture last season, but their meeting at the Emirates back in December ended in a straightforward 2-0 success, and Arsenal’s 13 away victories against the Hammers represents their most against a single side in the Premier League.But it’s far from guaranteed — not least because they still have to face Spurs in a couple of weeks. A win here, though, would keep them ahead of the chasing pack and potentially even close the gap on Chelsea.
West Ham, meanwhile, still have a chance of qualifying for Europe’s top competition themselves, but that’s far more likely to come from winning the Europa League than making the top four. They lost 2-1 to Frankfurt on Thursday and will need to win the away leg next week to make the final. They could be forgiven if their attention was elsewhere for Sunday’s trip across London. That said, they’ll want to guarantee European football next season by at least making the top six, and a win here could be vital in that regard.
Mohamed Elneny has filled in admirably alongside Granit Xhaka and should start again here, and Arteta may also opt to utilise Gabriel Martinelli’s pace and directness against a jelly-legged West Ham defence. It was truly a game of inches in the English capital on Thursday evening, but the biggest European night in West Ham’s recent history started in the worst possible fashion as Ansgar Knauff finished at the back post with less than a minute on the clock. While the Hammers did manage to respond before the half-time whistle via Michail Antonio’s outstretched leg, Frankfurt ensured they would take a one-goal advantage back to base through Daichi Kamada before Jarrod Bowen’s Puskas-worthy bicycle kick cannoned back off the crossbar and away from danger.
Furthermore, West Ham welcome Arsenal to the London Stadium having scored in every one of their Premier League home matches this season, and they have taken 14 points from the last 18 on offer on home soil, but the Gunners know a thing or two about winning crucial away matches in the capital. The past 10 days could hardly have been more enjoyable for Mikel Arteta and Arsenal, who have seemingly recovered from their minor blip at the beginning of the month while Tottenham Hotspur cede control of their Champions League destiny to their North London rivals. After their goal-laden showing at Stamford Bridge, Nuno Tavares, Bukayo Saka and Granit Xhaka all netted in a 3-1 success to virtually kill off Man United’s top-four hopes, although the Gunners certainly rode their luck as Bruno Fernandes’s penalty struck the post and went behind for a goal kick.
It would not be an Arsenal win in 2022 without the Emirates faithful having their hearts in their mouths at some point during the contest, but Arsenal are once again in the driving seat for Champions League football as they sit two points clear of Tottenham Hotspur in fourth spot. Spurs could temporarily rise back into the top four should they get the better of Leicester City a couple of hours before Arsenal take to the field against West Ham, but the Gunners have now won six of their last eight away games in the top flight and will be aware that West Ham have bigger fish to fry at present.
After a woeful three losses on the bounce, Arsenal fought back to put themselves firmly in contention for fourth place and a return to the Champions League. Kieran Tierney and Thomas Partey remain key absentees for Arsenal. Left-back Tierney is out with a knee injury while midfielder Partey has a thigh problem and both could miss the remainder of the season. Bukayo Saka picked up a knock at the end of the the win over United on Saturday and will be assessed. David Moyes will be assessing his Hammers squad after their Europa League first leg against Frankfurt. Arsenal have Champions League qualification in their own hands, following their 3-1 victory over Manchester United last week and Tottenham’s draw with Brentford.