Preview - Arsenal
The wait is almost over. The new Barclays Premier League season gets
underway for West Ham United on Sunday when they travel to London rivals
Arsenal for a lunchtime kick-off.
Slaven Bilic's first league game in charge of the Hammers could hardly have
been tougher, as last season's FA Cup winners look to get their own season
off to a good start at the Emirates Stadum.
The Gunners came third in the league last season, earning them direct entry
to the UEFA Champions League group stages, and they have already won
silverware this term, defeating Chelsea 1-0 in last Sunday's Community
Shield at Wembley.
West Ham, in their third season back in the top flight, came 12th last term
and have added several players to their squad as they aim to take a step
forward in their final Boleyn Ground season.
The Hammers will go into Sunday's game as outsiders, but they will hope to
upset the odds with Arsenal possessing a mixed opening day record in recent
Sunday's game is the 132nd meeting between Arsenal and West Ham, with the
Gunners having history on their side. They have won 60 of those games, with
the Hammers triumphing on 33 occasions~
In recent times, West Ham have struggled against the north Londoners, not
tasting victory against them in 15 attempts. The last success came back in
April 2007 when Bobby Zamora's goal meant West Ham became the first team to
win at Emirates Stadium.
Last season the Gunners won 3-0 in north London, with goals in the final ten
minutes from Aaron Ramsey and Mathieu Flamini sealing victory after Olivier
Giroud struck on the stroke of half time
At the Boleyn Ground, Cheikhou Kouyate scored for West Ham, but Santi
Cazorla and Danny Welbeck secured a 2-1 win for Wenger's side.
West Ham United
The Hammers could hand Premier League debuts to the likes of Dimitri Payet
and Angelo Ogbonna at Emirates Stadium on Sunday.
Fellow summer arrival Pedro Obiang could also be involved after returning to
training this week, while Winston Reid will also hope to be available after
suffering a hamstring injury in pre-season.
Enner Valencia (lower leg) and Andy Carroll (knee) are definitely out, while
Carl Jenkinson is ineligible against his parent club.
Alexis Sanchez will not be considered for selection after returning late
from Chile's successful Copa America campaign this summer.
Jack WIlshere, Tomas Rosicky and Danny Welbeck are all ruled out with
injury, but Petr Cech should make his Premier League debut for his new club
after making the move from Chelsea.
Arsenal have won their last ten league and cup meetings with the Hammers.
West Ham did the double over Arsenal in the 2006/07 season, but have since
found success against the Gunners had to come by, drawing two and winning
none of the next 15 clashes
Arsenal have won only one of their last five opening day Premier League
Summer signing Dimitri Payet made 135 chances for Marseille last season -
the highest figure in the top five European leagues.
Our principal sponsors Betway make us 8/1 shots to win at Arsenal on Sunday.
Check out their full betting preview here.
Coverage, tickets, travel and weather info
The match is live on Sky Sports in the UK, while we will be on hand at
Emirates Stadium with live updates and audio commentary on whufc.com and
exclusive behind the scenes content on our social media channels.
Tickets for this game have SOLD OUT.
Supporters planning on using the Victoria line to reach Emirates Stadium
should note that it will be closed between Walthamstow Central and Seven
Sisters. London Overground services will not be running between Stratford
and Hackney Wick, and supporters travelling from east London are advised to
use the Hammersmith & City line to King's Cross, changing to use National
Rail services to Finsbury Park. Click here for detailed travel advice.
Sunday is set to be a fine summer's day, with temperatures reaching 25C
(75F) and sunny intervals predicted at kick-off.
Slaven speaks - Arsenal
Slaven Bilic says a confident West Ham United will travel to Arsenal to
kick-off the 2015/16 Barclays Premier League season. The Hammers make the
short trip to the Emirates on the back of a midweek UEFA Europa League exit
in Romania, but the manager says that disappointment will not be allowed to
affect their preparations to face the Gunners. In a wide-ranging press
conference, Bilic also revealed that Andy Carroll could be back in
first-team action by the end of August and that the potential signing of
Mexico international striker Raul Jimenez is 'close'...
Slaven, can we start with team news for Sunday's trip to Arsenal?
SB: "Valencia has a major injury but it could be worse. The predictions are
that he is out for ten to 12 weeks, but hopefully it's going to be nine! We
have a few more small ones apart from him but we will see in training.
"We are going to roll out a good team and we are ready for the beginning of
the Premier League."
What is the situation with the potential signing of Raul Jimenez from
SB: "Jimenez is close, but it is not done. We hope to get it done today or
tomorrow, but anyway he would not be ready for the squad for Sunday's game.
"It would be good for us to get a player as soon as possible, considering we
need players in some positions. Jimenez is a striker and that would be it
then. I would be happy.
"The situation with Valencia means we might need more players but
considering that Andy Carroll is doing really well and he will be joining
the team in terms of training really soon, I would be happy with the
addition of one striker.
"As I said, Andy is working well and last week he was doing a lot of
individual stuff and everything without any problems. The injury is gone now
and now we have just to bring him back slowly but as quickly as possible
without any risk to training to get the fitness, first of all.
"It's totally different to training by yourself because you are training
with tackles and not controlling the environment. It's not only up to you
but the others as well.
"The target the medical department tell me is for Liverpool or Newcastle
which is the fourth and fifth game of the season."
Will you seek to bring in any more players, or are you happy with what you
SB: "I'm pretty happy. Some players may leave the club and a few players
have left already. We are concentrating on one striker and maybe one more
player in midfield and that should be it."
I would like us to play good football and to win games, which is easy to say
now before the first game
Are you looking forward to your first game as a Premier League manager?
SB: "Of course I am. I'm excited. I know from when I was here before and
have played against English teams in European competition and they all say
the Premier League is different and is the hardest league. I'm looking
forward to it"
"As I said, I'm ready and the team is ready and we're going to see on Sunday
how it starts.
What would constitute a successful season for West Ham United?
SB: "I would like us to play good football and to win games, which is easy
to say now before the first game. Let's say our aim is to be mid-table. Our
aim is to be as high as possible and I would say a top ten finish would be a
How will you approach Arsenal? Have you seen them play in pre-season?
SB: "First of all Arsenal are a big team, a big club and they have been
doing well and have won a trophy (the Community Shield) already, which is
always good. It's nice to win it.
"I went to see them live against Wolfsburg in the Emirates Cup. They are the
same Arsenal and they like to have the ball and keep the ball. They are very
versatile and are also the quickest team in the league and are the best on
breaks. When you lose the ball, they are very dangerous to you.
"Against Wolfsburg and against Chelsea, particularly, they improved
defensively in terms of as a unit. They are on a high and are full of
confidence but we are starting, we are very confident we can go there and
play good football and get something out of the game."
Joint-Chairman: We are ready to close the gap
West Ham United Joint-Chairman David Gold is excited by the prospect of
facing Arsenal in the opening Premier League game and feels the time has
come for the Club to start closing the gap on the top four. With Slaven
Bilic taking charge of the Hammers during the summer and a number of new
players arriving at the Boleyn Ground, Mr Gold believes the Club can have
another successful season in the top flight.
West Ham United fans showed their amazing support once again during the
Europa League Qualifiers and with the move to the new Stadium next summer,
Mr Gold sees no reason why the Hammers cannot compete with the big teams in
England. Gold said: "I am always excited by the beginning of the season and
this is no different. It could not be more difficult than going to Arsenal
but I think we are ready. I am confident we are going to have an exciting
season. "Arsenal are a top four football club and have been so for many
years, We are getting closer and closer and they will be looking over their
shoulders. Our ambition is to make the top four worried. With us moving to
the new Stadium I am sure that is going to be the case. "We have got a
fantastic fan base and that is the key. The numbers have been proven and we
had 100,000 fans coming to see the Europa League Qualifiers and that is
unheard of. "Slaven will be coming up against Arsene Wenger and from that
point of view you could not ask for a better game. It would be great if he
could upset the odds and get a result there."
New summer signing Dimitri Payet is expected to make his Premier League
debut at the Emirates Stadium and Mr Gold believes he could become one of
the major stars in the top flight this season. Gold added: "I am very
excited and we have brought in a top quality player. That shows our intent
and it shows the top players want to play here. We are an ambitious football
club with an ambitious manager."
Arsenal v West Ham
7 August 2015
Last updated at 13:46
Barclays Premier League
Venue: Emirates Stadium Date: Sunday, 9 August
Petr Cech is set to make his Premier League debut for Arsenal but Jack
Wilshere, Tomas Rosicky and Danny Welbeck are ruled out with injuries.
Alexis Sanchez will not feature as he regains fitness following an extended
break after the Copa America, although he could return on 24 August.
West Ham strikers Enner Valencia and Andy Carroll are both unavailable
because of injuries. Loanee Carl Jenkinson is ineligible to face his parent
club. Pedro Obiang, Winston Reid and Matt Jarvis returned to training this
week after minor injury problems and could be involved.
MOTD COMMENTATOR'S NOTES
Steve Wilson: "For older West Ham fans this might stir memories of 1980 and
Sir Trev's header at a sunny Wembley which saw off Arsenal and won the FA
Cup for John Lyall's second-tier team.
"For anyone with shorter memories it's mostly just a succession of Arsenal
victories; in league and cup the last 10 encounters have all been won by the
Gunners. "If Slaven Bilic can open his league account by ending that
sequence then West Ham's poor, blink-and-you-missed-it Europa League
qualifying campaign will be forgiven. "If Arsenal don't win then all that
optimism engendered by the Community Shield victory over Chelsea will pop as
quickly as one of those east London bubbles."
WHAT THE MANAGERS SAY
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger: "We won the FA Cup last year and we finished
third in the Premier League so our target is very high. "Our ambition is to
win the Premier League but we have to sustain that by performance and
fighting spirit in every single game. "Before we suffered sometimes from the
fact that at the start of the season nobody considered us at all because we
lost our best players. That period is over now so we are happy to be under
this kind of pressure."
West Ham manager Slaven Bilic: "We have a big season ahead of us which
starts on Sunday. We are going to be good in the Premier League. I am very
confident about that." Arsenal have been shown six red cards in their
opening Premier League fixture - more than any other side.
Arsenal have won their last 10 league and cup games against West Ham,
including nine Premier League matches.
The Hammers did the double over the Gunners in 2006-07 but since then are
winless in 15 league and cup games (D2, L13) against them.
The Gunners have lost their opening Premier League game just once in the
last 14 seasons (W9, D4) - a 3-1 home defeat by Aston Villa in 2013.
However, they have begun with a victory just once in the past five years,
albeit against Crystal Palace last term.
Arsenal have failed to score in three of their last four home league games.
Olivier Giroud has scored five goals in five top-flight games against West
Ham, while Theo Walcott has also scored five times against the Hammers.
West Ham United
The Hammers have lost nine times on the opening weekend of a Premier League
season - more than any other club.
They won nine of their first 17 Premier League games last season, but just
three of the subsequent 21.
West Ham are winless in 12 Premier League away games (D5, L7) since a 2-1
victory at West Brom on 2 December 2014.
Dimitri Payet, who has joined from Marseille, created 135 chances in 2014-15
- the highest figure in the top five European leagues.
Tactically speaking - Arsenal
Sunday's trip to the Emirates Stadium is one which West Ham United could be
forgiven for making full of trepidation.
The Hammers have not beaten Arsenal on home soil since becoming the first
opposition club to do so back in April 2007, when Bobby Zamora's lobbed
winner and Robert Green's heroics secured a shock 1-0 success.
Victory for Slaven Bilic's side on his first Barclays Premier League match
in charge would be something approaching as big a surprise as that win was
eight years ago, especially considering Arsenal showed good form in winning
the Community Shield last weekend.
So, how will each club approach their Sunday lunchtime clash in north
Arsenal's approach to their football under Arsene Wenger is well-known the
world over - pass, move, pass, move, score.
What has been added to that mantra is a steel and solidity that has helped
the Gunners emerge as real Barclays Premier League title contenders this
Arsenal finished third last season, conceding just 36 goals in 38 league
matches. With Petr Cech joining from Chelsea this summer, Wenger's side
looks even stronger in defence.
With attacking threats provided from all over the pitch, devastating pace on
the counter-attack, and the ability to keep the ball and pass their
opponents into submission still very much there, Arsenal look to be a
Formation-wise, the Gunners are likely to adopt a 4-4-1-1 system against
West Ham, but who will play as the centre forward remains to be seen.
Olivier Giroud is an all-round striker who has five goals in five games
against West Ham, while the speedy Theo Walcott could look to continue his
own fine record against the Hammers if he is selected in the same position
he occupied against Chelsea at Wembley.
Behind the centre forward, Arsenal's three attacking midfielders are vital
to their success. Against Chelsea, match-winner Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and
Germany international Mesut Ozil played alongside Spanish playmaker Santi
Of the three, Oxlade-Chamberlain is more of an old-fashioned winger, with
the strength, pace and skill to beat his full-back on the outside, but with
the added weapon of being able to cut inside onto his left foot.
Ozil is a passer who will play behind the centre forward and drift inside
from the left channel, picking through balls and making clever runs between
Cazorla will nominally start on the left wing, but the dimuntive player will
pop up all over the pitch. Elusive and two-footed, Cazorla combines well
Behind them, Francis Coquelin and Aaron Ramsey sit in front of the back
four, collecting the ball from the centre-backs when in possession and
pressing the opposition when out of it.
Defensively, Arsenal always employ attacking full-backs and that remains the
case with young Frenchman Hector Bellerin on the right and Spaniard Nacho
Monreal on the left. Both are quick, athletic, but can leave space in behind
for the opposition to exploit.
In the middle, tall German Per Mertesacker and Frenchman Laurent Koscielny
have developed a good partnership. Mertesacker is a dominant stopper, while
Koscielny has pace and ability on the ball.
Possible team: (4-4-1-1) Cech, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal,
Coquelin, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Cazorla, Ozil, Giroud
West Ham United
West Ham United have teamed up with football stats website WhoScored.com to
preview Sunday's Barclays Premier League opener with Arsenal.
West Ham will have played six competitive UEFA Europa League games before
Sunday's London derby comes around and Slaven Bilic will hope his team are
fit and ready to spring out of the blocks at the Emirates Stadium.
One player who is expected to be key for Bilic's side against Arsenal is
summer arrival Dimitri Payet. West Ham signalled their intention to better
last season's 12th-placed finish with the capture of the Frenchman, who
enjoyed a hugely successful campaign for former side Marseille last term.
The 28-year-old gained a WhoScored.com rating of 7.62 in France's top tier
last season, a figure only three players bettered. As a result, his
performances gained him a place in WhoScored.com's Ligue 1 team of the
season, with his 17 league assists contributing to that.
Following Stewart Downing's move to Middlesbrough, Payet will be expected to
undertake the role of creator-in-chief for the east London team and if he
and the West Ham frontmen can strike up an instant understanding, the
results could be devastating. Payet setting up former L'OM teammate
Andre-Pierre Gignac was the most prolific assist to goalscorer combination
in Ligue 1 last season, laying on six of the latter's goals.
Boasting a statistically calculated WhoScored.com strength of 'key passes' -
he completed 134 of them last season - Payet has the vision and creative
capability to unlock any defence and Bilic needs this facet of the
Frenchman's game to be prevalent in north London on Sunday.
Payet was one of the headline grabbing signings in the Premier League this
summer, and with 17 assists, seven goals and a 79.4 per cent pass-completion
percentage last season, that should come as little surprise to anyone.
Now, the challenge is for the No27 to replicate that devastating form in the
Barclays Premier League.
Gold: Arsenal 'looking over their shoulders'
Filed: Saturday, 8th August 2015
By: Staff Writer
West Ham co-owner David Gold believes Arsenal will be "looking over their
shoulders" at West Ham this season. The septuagenarian, who has been in
joint control of the club since 2010 insisted that Slaven Bilic's side have
enough about them this season to threaten not only Arsenal, but the Premier
League's elite. "Arsenal are a top four football club and have been so for
many years," he told the club's website. "We are getting closer and closer
and they will be looking over their shoulders. "Our ambition is to make the
top four worried. With us moving to the new Stadium I am sure that is going
to be the case. "We have got a fantastic fan base and that is the key. The
numbers have been proven and we had 100,000 fans coming to see the Europa
League Qualifiers, which that is unheard of. ""I am always excited by the
beginning of the season and this is no different. It could not be more
difficult than going to Arsenal but I think we are ready. I am confident we
are going to have an exciting season."
However as one eagle-eyed KUMB member pointed out, Gold has a little history
for making bold claims ahead of the start of a new campaign.
For back in 2005/06, he made similar comments when still owner of Birmingham
City. "It's time to shrug off that fear of relegation and start talking
about being as good as anyone outside the top three or four," he said.
Birmingham City were relegated at the end of that season - which, like West
Ham, happened to be their fourth consecutive season in the top flight.
West Ham boss Slaven Bilic planning payback on former mentor Arsene Wenger
in Emirates opener
22:30, 7 AUGUST 2015
BY MIKE WALTERS
New Hammers chief spent a week monitoring Arsene Wenger in 2001 while taking
his Pro Licence coaching badges and now wants to inflict defeat
Slaven Bilic will thank Arsene Wenger for helping him set out on the road to
management - by trying to catch Arsenal loitering in the blocks again. New
West Ham boss Bilic spent a week monitoring Le Professeur at work in 2001,
when he was taking his Pro Licence coaching badges. The former Croatian
national manager , who left Steve McClaren to face a nation's wrath in 2007,
has kept in touch with Wenger since he watched the Gunners training 14 years
ago. But at his first game as a Premier League manager, Bilic is planning a
spectacular payback at the Emirates on Sunday - when he hopes to inflict
another shattering opening-day defeat on Arsenal Two years ago, the Gunners
were ambushed 3-1 by Aston Villa on the first day of term, and Bilic - on a
spying mission ahead of a Champion s League meeting with Wenger - says they
were lucky to beat Crystal Palace for starters 12 months ago. The Hammers
boss, who could include 16-year-old defender Reece Oxford in his line-up,
said: "When I was preparing to become a coach myself, Arsene Wenger was one
of the managers I studied at work on the training field for a week. "We've
stayed in touch and, of course, I rate him very highly. Arsenal are not just
role models for us, they are an example for all clubs to copy because of
their history and the way they do things. "But sometimes, the big teams
don't start the season well. I watched Arsenal play Palace in their first
Premier League game last season, because their next game was against my
Besiktas team in a Champions League play-off, and they won 2-1 with a
last-minute goal. "I remember the game well, and Palace deserved a point.
You have to play against Arsenal some time, and you know it will be a tough
game, but like most things in life it's a matter of how you approach
it."Some people try to look at these games as a bonus, where they have
nothing to lose, and maybe we are not the favourites - but it is a great
opportunity for us to show we are good enough, and it wouldn't be the first
time." Bilic has set a nominal target of a top 10 finish for the Hammers in
their final season at Upton Park before their state-sponsored move to the
Olympic Stadium. He will also be under the scrutiny in terms of playing
style after Sam Allardyce was ditched on the altar of the so-called West Ham
way, and Bilic admitted: "Good football is important to me, but you also
need people who are ready to make sacrifices for the team.
"Every manager's heart swells when his team plays good football, but I am
also pragmatic because it's results that matter." Striker Andy Carroll could
be back before the end of the month six months after a knee ligament
West Ham sweating on 'a few' injury worries ahead of Arsenal clash
14:54 07 August 2015 Brad Pinard
West Ham boss Slaven Bilic admits he has a few injury concerns ahead of
opening Arsenal clash. The Hammers have question marks over the likes of
Winston Reid and Pedro Obiang for the Emirates battle but Bilic is hoping
they make it. "We are fit," Bilic said. "Valencia of course is badly
injured. But it could be worse. "We have a few more small issues, we will
see in training, but we will have a strong team. The Croatian left a number
of key players in London as the Hammers crashed out of the Europa League at
the hands of Astra Giurgiu but most are in line to return at the Emirates,
with loanee Carl Jenkinson unavailable against his parent club. Strikers
Enner Valencia and Andy Carroll (both knee) are definite absentees, with
Bilic ruling the roost over the remainder of his squad over the weekend.
Provisional squad: Adrian, Randolph, O'Brien, Tomkins, Collins, Ogbonna,
Reid, Cresswell, Hendrie, Noble, Nolan, Amalfitano, Obiang, Kouyate, Poyet,
Payet, Jarvis, Lanzini, Maiga, Zarate, Sakho.
IFAB ANNOUNCE THE REFEREE FOR ARSENAL VS WEST HAM ON SUNDAY
2015/08/04 . by Editor . in News
Martin Atkinson has been appointed as the referee for Sunday's Premier
League opening fixture against West Ham United. The Gunners will host the
Hammers at Emirates stadium in a bid to begin their challenge for title with
all three points. Apart from a 6-1 victory at Everton in 2009, Arsenal have
not made a habit of flying start on the opening day of the campaign in
The last time Martin Atkinson was in charge of an Arsenal league match was
during the north London derby in February which saw Wenger's men succumb to
a 2-1 defeat at White Hart Lane.
Arsenal vs West Ham United: Team news, kick-off time, line-up predictions
and stats for Barclays Premier League clash
By SPORTSMAIL REPORTER
PUBLISHED: 13:05, 7 August 2015 | UPDATED: 13:05, 7 August 2015
Ahead of the opening weekend of Premier League action, Sportsmail will be
providing you with all you need to know about every fixture, with team news,
provisional squads, betting odds and Opta stats. Here is all the information
you need for Arsenal's home clash with West Ham.
Arsenal vs West Ham United (Emirates Stadium)
Jack Wilshere will miss Arsenal's Barclays Premier League opener against
West Ham at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday. The England international faces
four weeks on the sidelines after suffering a hairline fracture to his left
fibula. Alexis Sanchez, who only recently returned to training after his
Copa America exploits for Chile, is also out while Danny Welbeck and Tomas
Rosicky are both unavailable through injury.
Provisional squad: Cech, Bellerin, Chambers, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin,
Oxlade-Chamberlain, Cazorla, Ozil, Walcott, Ospina, Giroud, Gibbs,
Mertesacker, Debuchy, Ramsey, Gabriel, Flamini, Arteta.
Arsenal vs West Ham United
Kick-off: Sunday 1.30pm - Sky Sports 1
Odds (subject to change):
West Ham 11/1
Referee: Martin Atkinson
Managers: Arsene Wenger (Arsenal), Slaven Bilic (West Ham)
Head-to-head league record: Arsenal wins 55, draws 32, West Ham wins 27
Key match stats (supplied by Opta)
Arsenal have lost just one of their last 14 Premier League fixtures on the
opening weekend, winning nine (D4).
West Ham have lost more Premier League games on the opening weekend than any
other side (9).
Arsenal have been shown more opening day red cards than any other Premier
League side (6).
The Gunners have won their last nine league encounters with West Ham and are
unbeaten in 14 (W12 D2).
The Hammers won on their last trip to Highbury in 2005/06 and on their first
trip to the Emirates in 2006/07 but have not won at Arsenal in the league
since (D1 L6).
Olivier Giroud has scored five goals in five PL appearances against West
Ham, with four of those strikes coming on home soil.
Theo Walcott has scored more top-flight goals against the Hammers than
versus any other opponent (5).
Petr Cech has posted the best saves to shots ratio (min. 50 saves) of any
goalkeeper in the Premier League over the last three seasons (78%).
Dimitri Payet created the most chances in the top five European leagues in
West Ham scored 15 headed goals in 2014/15, second only to West Brom (16),
while Arsenal conceded the highest proportion of goals to headers (36%).
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