Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will take his side to West Ham United for a second capital clash in less than 72 hours on Boxing Day, desperate to end a four-match winless run in all competitions.

The Gunners made it three Premier League games without maximum points in a frustrating goalless draw with title rivals Chelsea on Monday night, leaving them behind leaders Liverpool only by virtue of goal difference as a busy run of festive fixtures continues.

Wenger made the slightly bizarre decision not to use a single substitute against the Blues as the starting XI all played 90 minutes, which makes changes for the trip to Upton Park far more likely.

Jack Wilshere is one Gunners star that definitely won't feature on Thursday afternoon, as he sits out the final game of his two-match ban for a gesture aimed towards Manchester City fans.

Mikel Artera and Aaron Ramsey featured in deeper midfield roles in his absence against Chelsea, while Tomas Rosicky played wide-left in the position Wilshere occupied in that clash at the Etihad.

A rare 90 minutes for Rosicky makes it very likely that Santi Cazorla will return to play from the left-flank against the Hammers, while Mathieu Flamini should return for Arteta after a difficult night on Monday.

Laurent Koscielny is also likely to be back in contention but the West Ham match will probably come too soon, with club captain Thomas Vermaelen deputising alongside Per Mertesacker in central defence.

Kieran Gibbs could drop out to give Nacho Monreal a run at left-back in the middle of three games in a week, but Olivier Giroud is expected to continue in attack despite Nicklas Bendtner and the returning Lukas Podolski pushing for a recall.

West Ham meanwhile will have Kevin Nolan back from a three-match suspension and are expected to pick James Tomkins to face the Gunners, despite the defender being charged for assaulting a police officer in the early hours of Sunday morning.

West Ham potential XI: Adrian, McCartney, Collins, Tomkins, Demel, Noble, Morrison, Nolan, Jarvis, Diame, Cole

Arsenal potential XI: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Monreal, Flamini, Ramsey, Walcott, Ozil, Cazorla, Giroud

Topics:
#Lukas Podolski
#Jack Wilshere
#Premier League
#Kieran Gibbs
#Mikel Arteta
#Arsenal
Flag article