Ben Foster has backed West Ham United to put a dent in Arsenal’s title aspirations on Sunday (February 11).
The Gunners head to the London Stadium to face a West Ham side who have proven to be somewhat of a bogey team. Mikel Arteta’s men suffered a 2-0 home loss to the Hammers in December and were also beaten 3-1 at the Emirates in the Carabao Cup a month before.
Arsenal kept themselves well and truly in the Premier League title race with a 3-1 win over 10-man Liverpool last Sunday. But, a loss to David Moyes’ side could be hugely significant in their title challenge.
Foster was impressed by what he saw from West Ham in their 3-0 defeat to Manchester United last weekend. This was despite the west London outfit losing that game.
The former Premier League goalkeeper predicted the Hammers to come out triumphant against Arsenal. He told Mark Goldbridge’s That’s Football:
“I’m gonna go for a West Ham win. I watched West Ham against (Manchester) United the other day and thought they’re decent.”
The Gunners bounced back from a miserable run of results in December which included the defeat to West Ham. They sit third in the league, two points behind leaders Liverpool after 23 games.
Mikel Arteta touches on what type of reception Arsenal’s Declan Rice can expect away at West Ham
Arsenal’s trip to the London Stadium will be the first time Declan Rice turns out for the Gunners at the stadium since leaving West Ham in the summer. The English midfielder headed across London in a reported £100 million plus £5 million in add-ons deal.
Rice, 25, became a Hammers hero during his six years with the west Londoners. He made 245 appearances, scoring 15 goals and providing 13 assists, captaining the club to UEFA Europa Conference League glory last season.
The England international may expect a few boos from the home support on Sunday given his departure is still fresh. His manager, Arteta, touched on this by insisting he’s seen appreciation from the Irons towards their former skipper (via Arsenal’s official website):
“It depends and I always say that when you come back it is very difficult because the opponents are focused on giving support to their own team. As well, I’ve seen so much appreciation from the club when he left, what they did for him and the way people talk about him. That’s very important as well.”
Rice has replicated his incredible form for West Ham during the early stages of his Arsenal career. He’s been an ever-present at the heart of Arteta’s midfield, bagging three goals and as many assists in 32 appearances across competitions.