The Hammers will be looking to put another big team to the sword on Wednesday (15 December) having done so to the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea and both Manchester City and Manchester United in the League Cup.
He wrote in his Sky Sports column: “Arsenal are making The Emirates a fortress. They have won eight of their last nine matches at home, winning the last four without conceding a goal. Thou shall not pass the axis of Aaron Ramsdale, Ben White and the impressive Gabriel.
“Further back, they have won 10 of the last 12 home fixtures. Plus, that aforementioned axis has still yet to concede a goal before the 38th minute in any of their 13 games playing as a trio. It’s providing their team-mates a fine base to work from.
“One area of the pitch where West Ham will have an edge is in central midfield as Declan Rice’s form continues to impress. To my eye, there isn’t a better all-round midfielder than him in the Premier League – he can do it all. He ranks second in the Premier League for distance carried with the ball this season (3804m) – only behind Allan Saint-Maximin.
“I’m absolutely convinced he’s going to become even more of a force in the next few months. He’s fired six shots on target in his last seven Premier League fixtures and went close with an off-target attempt in the draw with Burnley.
“Arsenal should afford Rice plenty of space to work in, too. They are happy to defend a little deeper than most teams in the Premier League and no team has conceded more shots on target from outside the box this season (29). Rice will be licking his lips.”
The England international midfielder proved to be their most influential creative outlet during Sunday’s (12 December) goalless draw at Turf Moor, and he could end up hurting Arsenal if given a lot of space and chances to shoot from a distance.
The North Londoners boast of a solid home record, though, and the Irons would have done a very incredible job should they leave with all three points.
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