Mark Lawrenson is backing Arsenal to stay in control of their top-four destiny with a 2-1 win against West Ham United at the London Stadium on Sunday evening.
The Gunners started the Premier League weekend in fourth position in the Premier League table and a slender two-point lead over their bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspur with the season reaching its climax.
Arsenal have won their last two Premier League games to hoist themselves above Antonio Conte’s men and put the Gunners in a strong position to wrap up the final Champions League spot for the first time under Mikel Arteta.
The Gunners ended a losing run with a 4-2 victory over Chelsea FC last month before the Gunners were 3-1 winners against Manchester United at The Emirates last weekend to collect six points against two of their fiercest rivals.
West Ham have fallen off the pace in the top-four race but David Moyes’ side could still finish in the Uefa Conference League spot but the Hammers have an even greater prize up for grabs in the shape of a Uefa Europa League final.
The Hammers lost 2-1 to Frankfurt in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final but the east London side could qualify for the Champions League if they overturn the deficit against the German club and lift the trophy in the final.
BBC Sport pundit Lawrenson is predicting that Arsenal will secure a slender 2-1 win against the Hammers on Sunday evening.
“Like Leicester, West Ham are fully focused on Europe at the moment – this follows the first leg of their Europa League semi-final with Eintracht Frankfurt, which is absolutely massive for them,” Lawrenson told BBC Sport.
“As I’ve been saying all season, West Ham don’t have the biggest squad and they will almost certainly make some changes here.
“That should help Arsenal, although the Hammers will still be difficult to beat.
“The Gunners have benefited all season from not being in European competition – most of their midweeks have been free – but being fresher is particularly handy at this stage of the campaign.”
Arsenal have only lost one of their last 13 trips to West Ham in the Premier League.
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Source: Sport Review