In the 22nd round of Premier League, we will see West Ham hosting Arsenal at the Olympic Stadium, the home of West Ham.
West Ham are currently 10th in the league with an 8-4-9 record and 2-1-2 in the last 5 games. In the course of their last 5 games, West Ham has won against Fulham (0:2) and Southampton (1:2), lost to Watford (0:2) and Burnley (2:0) and drew their most recent match against Brighton (2:2). Looking at their recent match against Brighton, West Ham were considered a favourite, but they did not play like one. In the course of 90 minutes, West Ham had 54% ball possession, 13 goal attempts and 6 shots on goal. Brighton on the other side had 46% ball possession and the same amount of goal attempts as well as shots on goal. Teams basically performed equally well, but it was Brighton who scored the first goal in 56th minute to which they added another one only 2 minutes after. West Ham prepared an answer only 8 minutes later with 2 quick goals (66th and 68th minute). Both of the West Ham goals were scored by Arnautovic, which means he has now 7 goals in 15 appearances in this season. All in all an underwhelming performance from West Ham.Final score: 2:2.
Arsenal are currently 5th in the league with an overall record of 12-5-4 and a 2-1-2 in their last 5 games. They are coming into this match after a much needed 4:1 win against Fulham after being defeated by Liverpool on 29th of December (5:1). In the course of the last 5 games, Arsenal also drew against Brighton (1:1), won against Burnley (3:1) and lost to Southampton (3:2). Looking at their last match against Fulham. Arsenal were the dominant side and the final results speak for itself. Despite a total of 12 goal attempts (7-5) and 5 shots on goal (4-1) in the first half, we saw only one goal being scored, when Xhaka scored in 25th minute, which gave Arsenal a 1:0 lead. The second half was far more interesting, with a total of 4 goals being scored. Arsenal added another goal to their lead in 55th minute, to which Fulham responded with a goal of their own only 14 minutes later. With the score at 2:1, Fulham pushed to score an equalizer, but instead, they conceded 2 more goals in 79th and 83rd minute. The match was fairly one-sided, with Arsenal proving they are far better than Fulham, who are still in the relegation zone, but on the bright side managed to climb to 19th spot, passing Huddersfield by 4 points. Final score: 4:1.
Bookmakers are offering over 2.00 on Arsenal, which is quite high, and in my opinion too high to let it pass. Yes, Arsenal did not perform well against Liverpool, neither did they impress us with a draw against Brighton in December and even less with a defeat against Southampton on 16th of December, but they are still Arsenal. In the last 5 H2H matches between Arsenal and West Ham, Arsenal won 4 times, with only 1 match ending in a draw. When these two teams played against each other in August, Arsenal convincingly won 3:1 and I would not be surprised if they can produce a similar result on 12th of January. Arsenal needs to grab points wherever they can to get back into the top 4, which would get them a ticket to the Champions League. At the moment Arsenal is 3 points behind 4th placed Chelsea and they can not afford to let easy points slip away. Expect Arsenal to show their worth and win their 4th consecutive H2H match against West Ham.
Prediction: Arsenal -0.50 Asian Handicap
Odds: 2.07 Matchbook