“But Arsenal are finishing with a flourish as usual. Alexis Sanchez is flying again. Alex Iwobi is attracting the sort of headlines the Hammers’ Reece Oxford grabbed after their opening day win at Arsenal.
“And then there’s Dimitri Payet. Anything could happen.”
West Ham manager Slaven Bilic: “It’s a big game, a London derby first of all.
“The season is approaching an end and it’s very important for them and for us. We are both fighting, either for a place in Europe or, from their point of view, they are trying to be champions… There’s a lot at stake.”
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger: “As long as mathematically it’s possible, there’s a strong possibility [of catching Leicester].
“We know we need nearly the perfect run – I could have cut the ‘nearly’ out.
“We do not only look in front of us, we look behind us as well, because we are chased by a group of teams who can make it very difficult for us.”
Arsenal are a strange team, and I can see them winning nearly all their remaining games this season.
The pressure is off the Gunners now, with their title hopes all but over, which is why I think they will go to Upton Park, relax, play some open football – and win.
Think you can do better than Lawro? Predict the score for this match and the rest of this round’s Premier League fixtures in our Predictor game.
Arsenal have won nine of the last 10 Premier League meetings with West Ham.
The Hammers’ 2-0 win at the Emirates in the opening game of the season is their only victory in their last 15 league meetings with Arsenal (D2, L12).
It is 10 years since West Ham last enjoyed a home win over Arsenal – Arsene Wenger and Alan Pardew had a touchline bust-up after Marlon Harewood’s dramatic late winner in November 2006.
West Ham are unbeaten in their last nine matches in all competitions.
After losing their opening two home league games this season, the Hammers have not lost any since (W7, D6).
West Ham have won half of their 14 league games against teams in the top half this season, the best record in the top flight.
Dimitri Payet has been directly involved in 23 goals in all competitions this season, 13 more than any other West Ham player.
This is West Ham’s third consecutive London derby – both the previous two (against Chelsea and Crystal Palace) have ended in 2-2 draws. The Hammers have the best record in Premier League London derbies this season, picking up 14 points from seven games.
Arsenal have won just two of their last seven away matches (D3, L2).
The Gunners have scored 29 away goals in this season’s Premier League – only leaders Leicester can match that.
Arsenal are looking to keep three consecutive clean sheets for just the second time in this season’s top flight.
Olivier Giroud has scored five times in six Premier League games against West Ham; but just one of these goals has come at Upton Park.
SAM (Sports Analytics Machine) is a super-computer created by Professor Ian McHale at the University of Salford that is used to predict the outcome of football matches.