A 2-0 success over Wolverhampton Wanderers just before the World Cup break – their third Premier League victory in a row – allowed Arsenal to move five points clear of Man City, who are not in action until Tuesday’s trip to Leeds United and cannot threaten the Gunners’ first-placed standing no matter what transpires in the next round of fixtures.
Home fans who braved the cold elements at the Emirates were not rewarded last weekend, but Arsenal entertain West Ham on a nine-game Premier League winning streak on home soil – scoring two goals on each occasion – and not since 1987 have the Gunners been put to the sword on Boxing Day on their own turf.
Indeed, West Ham overcame Cambridge United 4-2 and Udinese 3-1 before playing out a 1-1 draw with Fulham last Saturday, but they make the short trip to the Emirates having taken just one point from their last five Premier League away matches and boasting a mere three top-flight goals on the road all season long.
All six of Arsenal’s most recent Premier League home matches with West Ham have ended in victory for the Gunners, who also secured a 2-1 triumph at the London Stadium back in May, and Arteta will no doubt relish the opportunity to get one over his former long-serving Everton manager Moyes once again.
It remains to be seen if William Saliba will be given the green light to come back after reaching the World Cup final with France, while Emile Smith Rowe is not expected to return from groin surgery just yet and the perennially injured Oleksandr Zinchenko also remains doubtful with a calf injury.
Similarly, West Ham are bedevilled with their own fitness concerns in the final third, as Moyes has admitted that Michail Antonio and Gianluca Scamacca are both doubts for the London derby due to calf and ankle problems respectively, so Jarrod Bowen could be required in the central role.
Defenders Nayef Aguerd and Aaron Cresswell are also fighting uphill battles to be fit for the match, but Maxwel Cornet should be in with a stronger chance of overcoming a calf twinge, and Kurt Zouma remains out for the long term after undergoing knee surgery.
With Alphonse Areola playing a peripheral role for France at the World Cup, ex-Gunner Lukasz Fabianski will start at his old stomping ground, while Lucas Paqueta and Declan Rice will be welcomed back to the XI with open arms.
Possible starting lineup:
Data will be available at kick off time or sooner.
Arsenal = 72.8%
Draw = 16.6%
West Ham = 10.6%
Arsenal 2-0 West Ham
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