Mark Lawrenson has told BBC Sport that he has a feeling that Arsenal will edge their Premier League clash with West Ham on Wednesday, claiming that the Hammers are starting to look a little leggy.
The meeting at the Emirates pits two of the current top six against each other. Neither go into the contest off the back of the best run of form.
Arsenal thrashed Southampton 3-0 at the Emirates on Saturday. However, that came about after a run of three defeats in their previous four.
West Ham meanwhile, went into the last international break three points off the summit after beating Liverpool. Unfortunately since then, David Moyes’s side have won one in five, losing two along the way. And they have opened the door for the chasing pack in the race for the top four.
Mikel Arteta’s men will go above the Irons with a win on Wednesday. And Lawrenson has suggested that he does indeed see the Gunners claiming an important victory.
“Arsenal don’t seem to have the same problems at Emirates Stadium as they do on the road – along with Manchester City, their home form is the joint best in the Premier League with six wins, a draw and a defeat so far,” he told BBC Sport, as he predicted a 2-1 win for the home side.
“I have a feeling the Gunners will get another victory here because, as good as West Ham have been, they are just starting to look a little bit leggy.
“The Hammers were nowhere near their best in their draw at Burnley on Sunday and, although they are still fourth, they have only won one of their past five games.”
West Ham record against bigger clubs suggests Arsenal cannot take Hammers lightly
What will perhaps frustrate West Ham fans is that the Hammers appear to save their best performances for the top sides in the league.
They have beaten the likes of Tottenham, Liverpool and Chelsea in the league. Meanwhile, they have got past both Manchester clubs in the Carabao Cup this season.
That probably makes the stalemates with Burnley and Brighton all the more annoying. But it would also suggest that Arsenal can expect an extremely tough battle on Wednesday.
The Gunners have a point to prove themselves, after losses against Liverpool, Manchester United and Everton.
It will certainly be a major shot in the arm in the race for the top four for whichever side takes the points.