BBC Sport pundit Mark Lawrenson has admitted he has been left bamboozled in trying to pick a winner between for Arsenal and West Ham on Saturday but is plumping for the Gunners to come away with the three points.
It has been difficult to guess what either of these sides will do on a weekly basis this season, however, Lawrenson does believe that Unai Emery’s men will overcome the hosts 2-1 at the London Stadium.
“In the Premier League, the Hammers’ form has been very up and down in recent weeks, but the same could be said about the Gunners,” he wrote on the BBC Sport website. “I am going for an Arsenal win here, but it is clear that Unai Emery still has a lot of work to do.
“He has only been in charge for half a season and I think that, when they come up against the top teams, the same problems still remain. The main issue is at the back. Would I back them defensively? No, absolutely not. Too many of their defenders are not Champions League level, which is the standard they need them to be at.”
This is going to be a very interesting game. Apart from the odd player of superior quality you could make an argument that there isn’t much separating these two teams. West Ham do have talent in their ranks and there’s no doubt that players of the quality of Marko Arnautovic and Felipe Anderson can cause this vulnerable Gunners backline problems. Whether the Hammers will be able to keep Arsenal out at the other end is a different story. Emery’s team will be the favourites, of course, and rightly so. These teams are pretty similar really, Arsenal are just a high end version of West Ham at this moment in time. Both sides are good going forward but struggle at the back, and they both rely on a few outstanding attackers. Furthermore they both possess two fantastic managers who made their names in La Liga. Again, the Gunners will be favourites, but there’s no reason West Ham can’t pull off the upset here.