Mon | May 22, 2017

ARSENAL VS WEST HAM

Published:Friday | August 7, 2015 | 8:00 AM

ARSENAL (4-2-3-1)

CECH, BELLERIN, KOSCIELNY, MERTESACKER, MONREAL, COQUELIN, CAZORLA, RAMSEY, OZIL, WALCOTT, GIROUD

WEST HAM (4-2-3-1)

SAKHO, JARVIS, PAYET, ZARATE, NOBLE, KOUYATE, CRESSWELL, REID, TOMKINS, BURKE, ADRIAN

Arsenal approach the 2015-16 Barclays Premier League season with confidence, after a hugely impressive pre-season that earned them three trophies. The Gunners, who retained the FA Cup last May, won the Asia Cup in Singapore, the Emirates Cup at home and then the Community Shield, when manager Arsene Wenger beat Chelsea rival Jose Mourinho for the first time in 14 encounters with his rival.

The Gunners are at home on the opening day for the fourth year in a row. But they do not boast an impressive recent opening-day record; last season's 2-1 win at home to Crystal Palace was their first victory in the first game of the season since 2009, when they won 6-1 at Everton.

West Ham, meanwhile, have already been busy under new boss Slaven Bilic, who replaced Sam Allardyce during the summer. On Thursday, the Hammers were in Europa League action, their sixth game of the competition.

Bilic, who spent three years at West Ham as a player, is a popular choice amongst Hammers fans but he is without the injured Andy Carroll and Enner Valencia while Carl Jenkinson, signed on a second season's loan from Arsenal, is ineligible to face his parent club.

Arsenal will continue with Petr Cech, signed from Champions Chelsea at the age of 33. The keeper will wear the number 33 and has already impressed as the Gunners' custodian.

The Gunners hold the upper hand over their London rivals; they have won their last nine games in the league against West Ham and are unbeaten in their last 14 (winning 14 and drawing two). Indeed, West Ham last beat Arsenal in April 2007 at the Emirates Stadium.