Arsenal will be looking for their ninth win in 10 Premier League outings when they take on a West Ham United side that has found victories hard to come by in 2015.
The home side come into this heading what is a hugely competitive race for the final two Champions League places, and although manager Arsene Wenger admits they are some way off being capable of making a challenge for the title this season, second place is looking increasingly attainable.
Alexis Sanchez returned to scoring form in the last Premier League match at Queens Park Rangers, while their new counter-attacking style was very much in evidence at Manchester United on Monday, where Danny Welbeck claimed the winner against his former club. Very much in form, the Gunners will be expecting to take maximum points here.
West Ham must hate facing Arsenal, as the last time they took so much as a point against them was way back in 2009, and their prospects of gaining something here have been weakened by a poor run which has seen them earn just one league victory since December 20, resulting in a drop to 10th place.
All of a sudden, the speculation over the future of manager Sam Allardyce has returned, albeit not as prominently as what was seen this time last year. One major boost is the news of Winston Reid’s new long-term contract. Arsenal had been among the sides linked with the New Zealander, who can expect a busy afternoon.
Mikel Arteta, Mathieu Debuchy and Jack Wilshere are all out for Arsenal, who are hoping that Alex Oxdlade-Chamberlain will be fit after he was forced off at Old Trafford.
Carl Jenkinson is unable to feature for West Ham against his parent club, while they are also without strikers Carlton Cole and Andy Carroll.
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