Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Lukas Podolski are available after they overcame their respective illnesses. Manager Arsene Wenger has a problem in midfield as Mikel Arteta (calf), Francis Coquelin (hamstring), and Tomas Rosicky (calf) are all out. Defensive midfielder Abou Diaby (thigh) will have a test, but forward Gervinho is away at the African Nations Cup and goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski out with a foot injury.
Arsene Wenger: “It’s a very important game for us, of course. We have to transform the potential we have shown in the [last] two games into points and that is a good opportunity tomorrow to do it. What is worrying is just that we do not win the big games. That at the moment we do not get the results we want. That is more worrying than the difference in points. The difference in points mathematically is not dramatic, but the consistency of our performances within games is what is worrying. When you see us in the first half, and us in the second half it is difficult to believe that we are the same team. That is more worrying for me.”
Sam Allardyce on Alou Diarra saying his move to West Ham was “a waste of time”: “He is obviously clear, without telling me, that he is not happy with the situation, which is understandable. You get this all the time as a manager when you bring a player of his experience and calibre over from France. It hasn’t quite worked out and he feels a little disgruntled in terms of playing more, this or that. It is a fact of life, whereas I look at the situation and play what I consider the best team and because of Alou’s long-standing injury he has found it hard to adjust to what is needed in the Premier League. If he is unhappy, he just has to tell me what he wants to do and we’ll see how we go from there.”
Arsenal have won eight and lost none of the last 10 matches in all competitions against West Ham.
The Hammers have failed to score in seven of the last nine Premier League games against the Gunners.
West Ham were the last visiting team to win a Premier League game at Highbury and the first to win at the Emirates.
Arsenal have scored in the 41st and 77th minutes in each of their last two matches against West Ham.