WEST HAM host Arsenal on Sunday in the Premier League. Daniel McCulloch (@DMcCulloch1984) shares his favourite fancies.
West Ham vs Arsenal | Sunday 21st March 2021, 15:00 | Sky Sports
Given that West Ham are seven points ahead of Arsenal and are slightly better than them according to the expected goals metrics, it may surprise some that The Gunners are marginal favourites for this encounter.
In truth, I feel that the match prices are about right. Arsenal are performing far better than they were at the start of the season and do have better players than their opponents on Sunday afternoon.
This season's points return is surely beyond the expectations of even the most positive Hammers fan, but Champions League football
is now a realistic possibility for the East London club.
Despite the fact that West Ham don't seem to have a recognised striker they find themselves three points off the top four and have a game in hand.
Their performances against the best sides in the league have also been good generally…managing a point at home to Manchester City and being unfortunate to lose the away game by a single goal while they've also beaten Leicester by three goals to nil away from home and recently beaten Spurs at The London stadium.
Arsenal have impressed me recently though. They were comfortably the better side overall against Tottenham, unfortunate not to beat Burnley, deserved winners against Leicester and put up a decent fight against Manchester City.
In theory both of these sides have good defences. Arsenal have conceded just 29 goals in 28 games and West Ham only three more from the same number of matches.
However, I don't believe either are impenetrable. Arsenal's defence are still capable of an awful error and as a West Brom fan I am absolutely amazed that Craig Dawson can continute to convince people he can play for a top half Premier League club for much longer.
With that in mind, my first angle is backing both teams to score at 5/6 with SportNation. This has landed in six of West Ham's last 10 league games and five of Arsenal's last seven.
Additionally, many goalscorers did appeal but it is Jesse Lingard who gets my vote. The Manchester United loanee has scored four goals in six appearances for West Ham, has recently been recalled by England and is likely to be on penalty duty.
All things considered, the 4/1 on Paddy Power
looks huge. Odegaard was also under consideration but his career record is less appealing than Lingard's and the latter looks a far better player in claret and blue than he did in red.
West Ham vs Arsenal – Both Teams To Score (5/6 SportNation)
West Ham vs Arsenal – Jesse Lingard to score (4/1 Paddy Power)