Date:1st May 2022 at 9:30am
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Arsenal travel across the capital on Sunday for a London derby against West Ham United at the London Stadium. 

Mikel Arteta’s side will arrive in the east end in fine form, having beaten Chelsea and Manchester United by an aggregate score of 7-3 over their past two outings.

The Gunners currently sit two points ahead of north London rivals Tottenham in the race to secure a top four spot, and the upcoming game between the two sides looks increasingly likely to determine who qualifies for the Champions League.

Here, we take a look at the possible XI that Arteta could field against the Hammers.

Goalkeeper

Aaron Ramsdale moved ahead of Bernd Leno in the goalkeeping pecking order earlier this season, and the Englishman hasn’t looked back since. His impressive performances have seen him tipped to make Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the World Cup later this year, and he will be keen to continue that fine form.

Defenders

At right-back, Cedric Soares could continue. The full-back has played in every one of the Gunners’ league matches since the start of February.

In the middle, first choice centre back pairing Ben White and Gabriel look set to continue at the heart of Arteta’s back line. The duo have started alongside one another in each of Arsenal’s last 30 matches, and appear to be forming a strong partnership that the club have perhaps been lacking in recent seasons.

White has started 31 league games this season

On the left, Nuno Tavares could continue having grabbed his first goal in English football against Manchester United. The Portuguese has made the most of an opportunity that arose when Kieran Tierney got injured.

Midfielders

Grant Xhaka also grabbed his first goal of the season in the win over United, scoring a long range screamer to secure the three points for the Gunners. The Swiss midfielder looked set to leave the club earlier this season, but has impressed of late and looks crucial to Arteta’s plans once again.

Mohamed Elneny has stepped in to replace Thomas Partey in each of Arsenal’s last two, and the results in each of those will give both the player and his manager confidence. Elneny is expected to depart north London this summer, but his recent revival could give Arteta food for thought.

Elneny could be set for a third successive start

In the advanced midfield role, Martin Odegaard will be hoping to continue what has been a fine season for him. The Norwegian has played in all of Arsenal’s last 31 matches, and has scored six goals while also providing four assists. The 23-year-old’s link up with the players around him has been crucial to Arsenal’s recent success.

Forwards

Alexandre Lacazette may once again find himself on the bench, with Eddie Nketiah likely to lead the line for the fourth time in a row. The young forward netted twice against Chelsea last week, and his recent form has seen speculation building around a possible contract extension. The Englishman had been expected to depart the Emirates this summer.

Saka has scored a penalty in each of his last two games

Flanking Nketiah will likely be Emile Smith-Rowe and Bukayo Saka. The English duo have both been enjoying sensational breakthrough seasons, scoring 23 goals and providing seven assists between them this term. The duo look to be the future of Arsenal at present, and both could be on the plane to Qatar in November.

With the Hammers also having an outside chance of securing a top four spot, the game on Sunday could be crucial in determining which clubs qualify for Europe next season.

 
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