Arsenal travel to East London on Boxing Day to play a West Ham side who are struggling to stay above the relegation zone, after a 3-1 defeat to Manchester United last weekend.
Laurent Koscielny looks likely to return for the Gunners after a knee injury sustained in the 6-3 thrashing by Manchester City. Wenger’s team will also have to do without England midfielder Jack Wilshere, following his two-match ban for an offensive hand gesture during the defeat at City.
West Ham, who have won only two of their home games this season, go into the clash with the boost of captain Kevin Nolan returning from suspension. After West Ham were beaten 3-1 away from home by Manchester United, it is important that Sam Allardyce’s team step up and make a statement or they will drop into the relegation zone. Allardyce will be particularly keen for a victory after admitting previously getting the better of Arsene Wenger has always given him a little bit of satisfaction.
Kick-off: Thursday, 3.00pm
Past three meetings:
Arsenal 5 (Giroud 2, Podolski, Walcott, Cazorla) West Ham 1 (Collison), Premier League, January 2013
West Ham 1 (Diame) Arsenal 3 (Giroud, Walcott, Cazorla) Premier League, October 2012
West Ham 0 Arsenal 3 (Van Persie 2, Walcott) Premier League, January 2011
The Hammers have won just three out of their last 17 Premier league matches – including nine defeats
Allardyce’s side have scored in five of their last 10 Premier League matches.
West Ham to win: 5.8
Arsenal to win: 1.57
TV: Live on BT Sport at 3.00pm, highlights on BBC1 at 10:25pm