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Sam Allardyce will have enjoyed Arsenal’s 120 minutes of football against Wigan Athletic on Saturday evening, partly because the Gunners will be somewhat leggy after their FA Cup penalty shoot-out victory and partly because Arsene Wenger’s team continue to turn out unconvincing performances as the season draws to a close.
While Arsenal are heavy favourites to finally win some silverware this term, the prospects of them claiming a place in next season’s Champions League looks more remote, with Everton thrashing them at Goodison Park a week ago and they won’t find things easy against a West Ham side who have had plenty of time to prepare for this match.
Paddy Power online are among those firms prepared to quote 4/9 about a home win in this game although you might get 1/2 nearer to kick-off considering that Arsenal are still walking wounded, with the Gunners having failed to win any of their last five matches in regulation time.
While Wenger claims that the FA Cup win against Wigan might spur his team on between now and the end of the season, the team are missing Laurent Koscielny in central defence, while Jack Wilshere and Mesut Ozil are absent from the midfield department.
Allardyce will have a game plan for this match and West Ham look a humungous price at odds of 15/2 considering they executed the perfect game plan when drawing 0-0 at Stamford Bridge, while there was little between themselves and in-form Liverpool in their last match.
Ladbrokes go 15/4 that the game ends all square and it’s infinitely better value than the home win based on previous results, especially with Andy Carroll putting himself about and causing problems for central defenders.
He’s a 19/2 chance to score the first goal, with Aaron Ramsey having recently returned for the Gunners and the Welshman is a 6/1 poke to break the deadlock and start rediscovering the sort of form that made him the Premier League’s outstanding player during the first few weeks of the season.
How Wenger needs players to stand up and be counted although Olivier Giroud is struggling in front of goal and it could be a nervy encounter on Tuesday night which makes the 5/4 about Under 2.5 Goals an attractive proposition.
After all, if Uwe Rosler’s Wigan are able to keep things tight against Arsenal at Wembley, then a disciplined Hammers side can do the same here and cause a few problems of their own.