Lawrenson even believes the Hammers will beat Freddie Ljungberg’s side 2-0: “Both of these teams have got problems, but Arsenal’s away form is probably the biggest issue here,” he wrote on the BBC Sport website. “The Gunners’ defending is not getting any better either and, if West Ham turn up for this one, I think they will win.
“Until Arsenal appoint a manager, it is difficult to know what direction they are going in – but it appears to be downwards at the moment. Their chances of securing Champions League football for next season by making the top four are starting to look remote.”
Will Lawrenson’s prediction prove correct?
This is anyone’s game to win, really. Both these sides are in absolutely woeful form, and so it probably just depends on who turns up on the night. West Ham proved against Chelsea recently that they can get the job done when they want to, but then laid an egg at Wolverhampton Wanderers on Wednesday.
Arsenal, on the other hand, have made no distinguishable improvements under Ljungberg’s temporary charge. They still can’t defend, the midfield still don’t work hard enough and the attackers can’t perpetually bail them out.
So it would be no surprise if the east London outfit claimed all three points on Monday, particularly given the Gunners’ poor away form this season.
Lawrenson’s being generous by even mentioning Champions League football for Arsenal, that appears to be a pipe dream at this moment in time.