Arsenal play host to struggling West Ham United later today at 12pm at Meadow Park, as the Gunners look for their first win of 2021.
Arsenal enter today’s London Derby off the back of a disappointing draw with Reading last weekend. Joe Montemurro’s side looked sub-par for the majority of the game, struggling to cope with The Royals’ press in midfield.
It has been suggested that this may have been down to a lack of training, due to a Covid-19 case in the squad. However, even before the break the North London side had not looked at their best, dropping points to each of the other top four sides.
West Ham will be looking to capitalise on this. It will only be new manager Olli Harder’s second league game in charge but it is a great opportunity to pick up his first league points. His first game in charge saw them lose narrowly to Tottenham Hotspur last Sunday.
The Hammers will certainly take confidence from their Conti Cup quarter-finals win midweek as they aim to improve their disappointing league form. They have picked up points just once in the last four WSL games.
Reflecting on past matches
The last time these two teams met was perhaps a day to forget for West Ham, as Arsenal stormed to a 9-1 victory back in September. It was a less than satisfactory introduction to life at their new stadium, with captain Gilly Flaherty sent of in the early stages.
Games between these two London sides have regularly treated us to plenty of goals. In the last two seasons we have seen 4-3 and 4-2 scorelines, so here’s hoping it delivers again this weekend.
Ones to Watch
Arsenal vice-captain Jordan Nobbs missed last weekend’s draw with a thigh strain, but Joe Montemurro has confirmed she is available for today’s game. The England international has mostly played out wide this season, scoring two goals and assisting four from only four starts.
However, the Gunners midfield has struggled recently and playing Nobbs back in her natural position may be the solution. Her ability on the ball and work rate should allow the North London side to dominate more.
Emily Van Egmond has been a wonderful signing for West Ham so far this season, and recently made her loan move permanent. A versatile defender, Van Egmond has been key to The Hammers’ attack, scoring and assisting in midweek.
She is also strong in the tackle, so plays an important defensive role as well. Both of these attributes will be key against a Gunners side that likes to control possession.
Arsenal vs West Ham kicks-off at 12pm and will be shown live on The FA Player.
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