A scintillating gameweek of Premier League football will end with Arsenal travelling five miles across London to Stratford to take on West Ham United, with both teams so far falling way short of expectations for the current campaign.
Analysing each of their last seven EPL matches sees just one win from the 14 combined, West Ham providing that through a shock 1-0 victory over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Three points separate the two clubs ahead of their meeting this evening, with West Ham worse off than the Gunners and hovering precariously over the relegation zone, just one meagre point separating them from the joint-third worst teams in the top tier, Aston Villa and Southampton.
Interim Arsenal manager Freddie Ljungberg has found life hard since taking over the post from Unai Emery at the very end of November, their former Invincible failing to register a win and collecting a single point from his first two games in the dugout.
But there's hope. And it comes in the form of history. Or to be more precise West Ham’s shocking run of lacklustre results on a Monday night. The Hammers don't like Mondays, they hold the worst record for a Premier League team taking to the pitch on that particular day of the week.
They’ve lost a high of 29 matches on a Monday.
Arsenal, on the other hand, have won the most aside from 13-time Premier League champions Manchester United, with 43. Furthermore, a loss to Arsenal at the London Stadium will see West Ham become the first club to lose a century of Premier League derbies in the capital.
The Gunners, however, are on their worst run of form since the original Star Wars was out in cinemas, between February and March 1977. Ljungberg himself at the time was mere weeks away from being born, as were John Cena and Richard Ayoade.
After an Arsenal playing career that was rewarded with over 200 appearances, two Premier League titles and a trio of FA Cups, Ljungberg did in fact enjoy a short single-season spell across town at West Ham in 2007/08, the Irons then managed by Alan Curbishley and finishing in a respectable 10th. It’s a position they no doubt would love to find themselves in at this present moment in time.
The current Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini also finds himself under a great deal of scrutiny. The Chilean is favourite with the bookies to be the next manager to leave his post. Pellegrini has spent over £170million on the West Ham squad in his 18 months in charge but, with consistent results not forthcoming, the club might be shelling out a bit more to remove him from power, with his £10m-a-year salary needing paying off.
They have picked up fewer points in their last eight Premier League matches than any other side during that period. Ljungberg’s Arsenal exacerbating that rotten spell, to relieve the pressure on his own club and continuing West Ham’s trend of suffering Blue Mondays, may see that P45 winging its way speedily to Mr Pellegrini.
The Rainbow Laces campaign will also be out in force once again in support of the LGBT+ community, just as it was over the weekend. Ultimately, after a stormy period for both clubs, with dark clouds continuously unabated, both sides will no doubt be hoping that Rainbow is indeed prophetic.