When Freddie Ljungberg took over as interim coach at Arsenal he would’ve rightly looked at his first three games and thought nine points was an achievable goal.
Two games into that sequence, the boo boys are still there, the defensive shape is still non-existent and now Arsenal are win-less in nine games in all competitions.
The Gunners have conceded the third most shots in the league with only Norwich and Villa conceding more.
Turning to an Arsenal legend and Invincible in Ljungberg can’t hide the systemic faults in which this current side operate.
Arsenal have already given up 52 shots on target at home in the Premier League this season. The Invincibles side of 2004 allowed just 48.
They had Campbell, Keown and Veira. Now Freddie has Luiz, Sokratis and Xhaka.
You have to go back to the end of September and their 2-0 win against Man Utd, for the last time West Ham kept a home clean sheet in the Premier League. Except for last weekend’s freakish win over Chelsea, the Hammers have shut out the opposition just once in 10 games in all competitions.
Like Arsenal, their strengths are not at the back.
When we consider the average goal per Premier League match has risen from 2.68 in 2017/18 to 2.9 before this weekend’s fixtures, it makes sense to side with goals being scored in this fixture.
A draw doesn’t do either side any good and seeing as we’ll likely have an array of attacking talent on display – we have to expect goals which naturally negates the draw element.
We know both sides struggle to keep goals out so ‘Both teams to score – no Draw’ market @ Evs appeals. However, the more straight-forward bet of over 3.5 goals @ 11/10 allows you to relax in front of the tellybox and watch the goals fly in.
But who’ll get the goals?
Arsenal’s Alexandre Lacazette as first goalscorer @ 7/2 appeals. The Frenchman has been playing as the lone central striker since Freddie’s took over and scored in the 2-1 defeat at home to Brighton last Thursday night.
Lacazette has five goals in 10 league games this season and is on target with 60 per cent of his strikes on goal. This is significantly higher than Aubameyang’s on target ratio of 44 per cent of strikes on goal.
Sebastien Haller ranks highest for fouls for West Ham this season and was booked in West Ham’s last London derby home match against Crystal Palace. He should know that he can bully that Arsenal backline by being physical and is 16/1 in the 1st player to be shown a card market on Monday night.
We can always count on Granit Xhaka to leave a dirty foot in at some point and he’s 7/1 in the same market.
But if you really want to shoot the lights out, then a combined 35/1 punt on #WhatOddsPaddy, for Lacazette to score anytime plus Haller & Xhaka to be booked could make it a Monday night to remember.