Arsenal’s fading title hopes will be over this weekend if West Ham manage to pull off even a draw against The Gunners. Leicester are 11 points ahead of Arsenal right now which has made the West Ham game a must win for Arsene Wenger’s side.
In terms of physicality and energy, Slaven Bilic’s men stand in a better position thus Arsenal would need to outsmart their opponents this weekend if they want to win all three points. But how? We take a look at three things Arsenal must do to beat West Ham in Premier League Gameweek 33.
Do not look to man-mark Dimitri Payet
Needless to say Payet will be West Ham’s most dangerous player when the two teams meet at Upton Park this weekend. Often managers tend to man-mark the most creative player from the opposing team.
We saw an example with Louis Van Gaal trying the same with Philippe Coutinho when he had asked Guillermo Varela to man-mark the Brazilian. End results however were appalling.
The same could happen if Wenger goes by that ploy. Gunners need to be wary of Payet’s brilliance but should not give in to his abilities.
Play to their strength – Play with speed on counter attack
With the inclusion of Danny Welbeck and Alex Iwobi, Arsenal have been blessed with fast players in attack. The duo will be needed to be at their very best against a solid West Ham defense. Whenever Arsenal get an opportunity, Welbeck and Iwobi need to run with the ball and pick decisive passes.
An in-form Alexis Sanchez will be another boost for Arsenal this weekend after Chilean star showed some real signs of improvement against Watford.
Work hard for the ball but don’t go fighting for it
West Ham will have Mark Noble and Cheikhou Kouyate shielding their midfield and the duo have been in fine form this season. They like to pass and they are never afraid for a tackle or two. Arsenal need to be mindful of their abilities and thus should not press too hard to retrieve the ball.
Arsenal’s midfield shape has to be apt as any mistimed tackle could allow Noble to pick Payet from the left hand side and from there on, we know what is going to happen next.
Another aspect Gunners need to take care is not to give any cheap fouls near the 30-40 yard area, because we have seen what Payet can do from that range with his unreal free kicks.
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