Arsenal Vs West Ham United Football Score Match 26 December 2022
Arsenal could temporarily surge eight points clear of Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table when they host West Ham United at the Emirates for a Boxing Day London derby. Meanwhile, David Moyes’s men sit 15 places and 23 points worse off than their capital counterparts and are at risk of dropping below the dreaded dotted line. Fifteen years have passed since Arsenal were sitting pretty at the top of the Premier League table on Christmas Day, and the ardent Gooners out there will need no reminding of how the rest of that season played out following a devastating injury to one of their star strikers.
Eduardo da Silva’s horrific leg break derailed Arsenal’s bid for glory that year, and Mikel Arteta is currently scratching his head over how to fill the Gabriel Jesus-sized shoes following the Brazilian’s knee surgery, but there is a buzz around the Emirates that has not been felt for some time. 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.
Arteta’s men got their hands on one piece of silverware over the winter break in the form of the Dubai Super Cup, beating Lyon and AC Milan in the four-team friendly tournament, but their final exhibition game at the Emirates ended in a disappointing 2-0 loss to a juvenile Juventus team. 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.
While Arsenal have largely been unable to stop winning in the 2022-23 Premier League season, a streak of red appeared on West Ham’s notebook before the World Cup break, and the Europa Conference League participants are dancing with the devil near the foot of the rankings. Either side of a dampening EFL Cup exit to Blackburn Rovers on penalties, the Hammers fell to top-flight losses to Crystal Palace and Leicester City in front of their own fans to enter the World Cup break in 16th place – just one point above the relegation zone.
Moyes’s underperforming charges, who have lost three Premier League games on the bounce and have won just one of their last six in the division, could therefore drop into the bottom three if festive results do not go their way, but playing away from home sparked an upturn in fortunes during their winter friendlies. 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.
Arsenal’s leading number nine Jesus was only a bit-part player in Qatar for Brazil, but his situation took a turn for the worse when he picked up a severe knee injury against Cameroon, which will rule him out for approximately three months. Prior to the opening of the January transfer window, the attacking burden will rest on the shoulders of Eddie Nketiah, but Arteta’s only other guaranteed absentee is Reiss Nelson, who damaged his hamstring in the friendly defeat to Juventus. 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.