Arsenal's English striker Danny Welbeck (CR) embraces West Ham United's English goalkeeper Joe Hart (CL) at the end of the English League Cup quarter-final football match between Arsenal and West Ham United at the Emirates Stadium in London on December 19, 2017.  / AFP PHOTO / Ben STANSALL / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.  /         (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)

3 Key Battles That Could Decide Arsenal's Premier League Clash With West Ham on Sunday

Ahead of Arsenal's Premier League clash with West Ham on Sunday, here is a look at some of the key battles that could be central to the action and potentially decisive in the outcome of the match...

3. Alexandre Lacazette vs Angelo Ogbonna

In Arsenal's 4-3-3 setup away to Newcastle last weekend, it was Alexandre Lacazette who assumed the role of central striker in Arsene Wenger's side, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang shifting to the wide left position. This proved effective, at least in part, as Lacazette went on to score the opening goal of the game, assisted by Aubameyang.


Lacazette's ability to receive the ball to feet and turn defenders, or lay the ball off efficiently to one of his attacking teammates, will be one of Arsenal's primary sources of goal threat on Sunday. 


Angelo Ogbonna, likely to occupy the central role in West Ham's back three, must show good strength and awareness to foil Lacazette's hold up play and ensure that he is not able to orchestrate Arsenal's attack from his central role.

2. Aaron Ramsey vs Cheikhou Kouyate

The engine rooms of both sides will play a central part of the action on Sunday, and West Ham must ensure that Arsenal's plethora of midfield maestros do not dictate the game with freedom to pick the killer passes at will.


Aaron Ramsey has been passed fit for Sunday and will likely retake his place in Arsene Wenger's starting XI, having missed out on the defeat at Newcastle last weekend. Ramsey's drive and thrust from midfield was missed in that game, and his presence in the Arsenal midfield could provide one of Arsenal's strongest points of attack against West Ham.


Cheikhou Kouyate must take responsibility and track the Welshman's dangerous runs from the middle of the park and into the box, as this has been a regular source of some of Arsenal's most important goals in recent weeks.

1. Shkodran Mustafi vs Andy Carroll

West Ham do have a strong attacking outlet themselves and one which has regularly been the scourge of Arsenal over the years, in the form of powerful number nine Andy Carroll.


Dealing with crosses into the box has always been a shortcoming in what has become emblematic of Arsenal's perceived 'soft centre' over the years, and Andy Carroll has been as great a beneficiary of those defensive deficiencies.


The England forward's ability to tower above his opponents in the box and connect powerfully with  headed efforts will likely be West Ham's main source of threat to the Arsenal goal on Sunday, and Shkodran Mustafi will likely be the man tasked with keeping a watchful eye on West Ham's centre forward.