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Rupert Wyman 24th Oct 2009 - 19:29

Wenger to end his birthday week with a win

Legendary Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger celebrated his 60th birthday on Thursday and no doubt still in his mind will be the late equaliser conceded to AZ Alkmaar on Tuesday night in the Champions League.

His Arsenal team though will soon be able to let the Frenchman forget that harsh goal as they seek to win their seventh Premier League match of the campaign.

Arsenal were unlucky to only draw in the Netherlands as they were dominant throughout and it can't be an appetising prospect for West Ham to face them as Gianfranco Zola's side have not won since the opening day and sit second from bottom on just five points.

Therefore it is not surprising that the Gunners are a short 1/2 to leave Upton Park with the three points. A first home success of the campaign for West Ham is a 6/1 shot and the draw is available at 3/1.

West Ham's performances have deserved more reward this term than they have got but it is hard to back against Arsenal given their irresistible form. The Gunners though do still have question marks defensively as they have only kept two clean sheets in the league.

They will be boosted by the return to fitness of number one keeper Manuel Almunia but it would be harsh on Vito Mannone if he were to be dropped as he has really developed and put in some impressive performances with the chance of regular first team football.

Regardless of who gets the nod in between the sticks, despite West Ham's lack of firepower, I still expect the Gunners to concede a goal. The most likely source of a goal for the home side is of course England international Carlton Cole who has really come on under the guidance of Zola.

Cole is a 8/1 shot to open the scoring and 11/4 to get on the scoresheet at any point during the match.

Other than Cole though West Ham's team looks short of goals and at times it is a one man crusade to breach the opposition's defence.

In contrast Arsenal are a team full of attacking riches, however, I think they will in all likelihood only win by the odd goal as both Tottenham and Liverpool also did in east London. As a result a 2-1 win to Arsenal in the correct score betting is the selection at 13/2.

The biggest threat on the Hammers goal will come from the in-form Robin van Persie. The Dutchman has netted four goals in his last five league appearances and can be backed at 10/11 to be among the goals yet again.

A cracking bet looks to be in the anytime wincast market - Van Persie to score and Arsenal to win which is priced at 5/4.

Other scoring threats include joint top scorer Cesc Fabregas at 2/1 and Russian star Andrei Arshavin at 6/5.

A must bet though is the over two goals in the total goals market at a generous looking 8/13.

The three points for Arsenal will banish the memory of AZ's equaliser and allow Wenger to belatedly celebrate his birthday in style as his young side will move up into third, ahead of their north London rivals Tottenham, and close the gap on the top two.

 

 
 
 

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