Arsenal to ruin Bilic’s best laid plans with opening-day victory

West Ham fans who paid their hard-earned in midweek to see a weakened side dumped out of the Europa League, will feel somewhat appeased if their team can get a positive result at Arsenal in their opening Premier League fixture.

After all, new Hammers manager Slaven Bilic has defended his decision to field a side which will bear scant resemblance to the XI he will deploy at the Emirates, by citing the Premier League as the club’s priority.

However, even with fresh legs to call upon, the history surrounding a very tricky curtain-raising fixture makes it all the more likely that vindication will not be felt by the travelling Hammers in north London.

It’s not only that Community Shield winners Arsenal, replete with new goalkeeper Petr Cech, are widely fancied as the most likely to dethrone champions Chelsea come May either.

As the match odds from Ladbrokes reveal – Arsenal are 3/10, West Ham are 11/1 outsiders and the draw is 9/2 – this is not a fixture the Irons enjoy.

The east Londoners have now lost their last nine Premier League games home and away against the Gunners.

Bilic also inherits a side who last won on the road in the top tier way back on December 2nd last year and the former player is still experimenting with a host of fresh faces brought in this summer.

The nail in the coffin for the visitors, stats-wise at least, is the fact no side have lost more times on the opening day than West Ham with nine defeats next to their name.

Nevertheless, there is certainly some scope for Ladbrokes price boost on the game bringing home the bacon.

The firm have enhanced an Arsenal win with both teams scoring from 2/1 out to 5/2 from 8.00 am on the day of the game.

West Ham’s new signing Dimitri Payet created more chances than any other player in Europe’s top five leagues last season, so the former Marseille man could provide a few bullets for the likes of Diafra Sakho up front.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

Fancy a flutter? Sign up today to claim up to £50 in free bets.


Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.