Arsenal play host to West Ham United in the quarter-final of the League Cup on Tuesday evening. The Gunners ended a three-match Premier League winless run with a close 1-0 victory over Newcastle United, and their focus will now be on the ‘Carabao’ Cup where they face off against David Moyes’ Hammers.
The cross-town rivals faced off against each other in the week just past, where Arsene Wenger’s side lacked the cutting edge to find the breakthrough in a 0-0 draw at the London Stadium. The Hammers came up with the best opportunity late in the game after Javier Hernandez saw his curler beat goalkeeper Petr Cech only to not cross the goal-line.
With a league outing versus Liverpool on Friday night, Wenger is expected to make wholesale changes, and Moyes could follow a similar ploy as relegation survival remains the main priority for the east Londoners this term.
Players to watch for:
Olivier Giroud – Arsenal: Giroud struggled to receive service when the two sides clashed last week. Barring his header for Jack Wilshere’s attempt on goal, the Frenchman rarely received crosses from the flanks, and this restricted his impact in his maiden league start of the season. With his future already a topic of speculation, Giroud has the platform to exhibit his skills, and he could be key to unlocking a Hammers backline which has kept three consecutive clean sheets. Giroud has an excellent record versus West Ham with six goals in just nine appearances (transfermarkt).
Andy Carroll- West Ham United: Likewise in the opposition end, Carroll has struggled to command a regular starting role with the Hammers owing to his regular injury concerns. Moyes has not deemed the striker fit to take the playing field since the Leicester game, and he was left out of the matchday squad altogether in the weekend win at Stoke City. Carroll has proved a menace to the Gunners’ backline in the past owing to his physical attributes, and he has notched nearly a goal in every other game versus the north London side (transfermarkt).
Both sides are likely to ring in the changes for the encounter but the Gunners should prevail with the home advantage. West Ham have won only once in the past decade at the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal 2-1 West Ham United, Giroud with the winner…
Image – Getty