In substitute of Randy’s usual match preview, here are some interesting factors to know ahead of Saturday’s London derby.
Emirates Stadium

Emirates Stadium


Dubious title contenders Arsenal enter this London derby with their sights set on the more realistic task of overhauling a five point gap on fourth placed Aston Villa, to claim a Champions League place.

West Ham famously became the first club to beat Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on 7 April 2007 (0-1), but have not managed to gain a point or score a goal against the Gunners since.

Gianfranco Zola’s side are third in the Premier League’s “form” table, two places above Arsenal; the Hammers have claimed 13 points from a last possible 18, the Gunners 12 points from six games.

This is the first of two successive matches against ‘Big Four’ clubs for West Ham, with a home clash against Manchester United scheduled for Sunday, 8 February.

It’s also the first of two London league derbies for the Gunners on successive weekends, with a trip to Tottenham also set for the Sunday of next weekend.

Distance between the clubs: 10 miles (16 kilometres)
West Ham are making the shortest journey of all Premier League clubs this weekend.



5th 42 points
Highest achievable after Saturday’s matches: 5th
Lowest could fall: 5th

1. Undefeated in nine in all competitions; won four, drawn five.

2. Unbeaten in nine top-flight matches; won five and drawn four since losing 3-0, away to Manchester City on 22 November.

3. Victory will take them over the 950 Premier League points mark under Arsene Wenger; they’re on 948 at present.

4. Scored in each of their last nine league outings; no Premier League club can match that.

5. Netted in all but three of their 23 league fixtures this season.

6. 12 points down on this corresponding stage last season, when in the top two.

7. Scored more Premier League goals in injury time this season than any other club (six).

8. Won all seven league games when clean sheets have been kept.

9. Failed to score in one of 34 home Premier League matches.

10. Home to Cardiff on Tuesday in an FA Cup fourth round replay.


8th 32 points
Highest achievable after Saturday’s matches: 7th
Lowest could fall: 8th

1. Undefeated in seven in all competitions; six wins, one draw.

2. Claimed 13 points out of 15, since suffering a 0-1 home loss to Aston Villa on 20 December.

3. Won seven and lost seven of 19 league games under Gianfranco Zola.

4. Four points down on this same stage last season, when 10th in the table, where they remained static until the end of the campaign.

6. Undefeated in six away league games; won two and drawn four on the road, since losing 2-0 to Manchester United at Old Trafford on 29 October.

7. Drawn their last two matches against ‘Big Four’ clubs’, 0-0 away to Liverpool, and 1-1 away to Chelsea, and not beaten a member of the quartet (Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United), since a 1-0 home victory over Liverpool on 30 January last year.



Manuel ALMUNIA has started in goal for every one of Arsenal’s Premier League games this season.

If on the field from the outset:-

Bacary SAGNA will be making his 50th Premier League start in an Arsenal shirt.


Robert GREEN is the only remaining player to have been on the field for every minute of every one of West Ham’s Premier League matches this season.

If on the field from the outset:-

Matthew UPSON will be making his 250th club career start (Luton, Arsenal, Nottingham Forest, Crystal Palace, Reading, Birmingham and West Ham.

UPSON will be facing a former club. The 29 year old defender made 56 appearances (34 in the league) for the North Londoners between May 1997 and January 2003.

Luis BOA MORTE will also be facing former colleagues. The 31 year old Portugal international made 39 appearances (25 in the league) and scored four goals for Arsenal between June 1997 and August 1999.


Arsenal are bidding to record four successive Premier League victories against West Ham. They have won the last three with an aggregate score of 5-0.

There has never been a draw when these two have met in North London for Premier League action.

The Hammers are one of only three clubs to have picked up maximum points at the Emirates Stadium. The others are Hull and Aston Villa; both this season.

Arsenal are hoping to do the double over West Ham for the sixth time in the Premier League, and second in successive seasons.

Home and away
League (inc PL): Arsenal 46 wins, West Ham 27, Draws 30
Prem: Arsenal 16 wins, West Ham 6, Draws 5

at Arsenal only
League (inc PL): Arsenal 26 wins, West Ham 13, Draws 12
Prem: Arsenal 9 wins, West Ham 4, Draws 0


Arsenal 2-0 West Ham United
1 January 2008 – Ref: Chris Foy
Arsenal scorers: Eduardo 2, Adebayor 18


West Ham United 0-2 Arsenal
26 October 2008 – Ref: Phil Dowd
Arsenal scorers: Faubert 75 og, Adebayor 90
Sent Off: Cole (90)

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Steve Bennett (Orpington, Kent)