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West Ham United-Arsenal Preview


STATS Senior Writer

(AP) -- LONDON (SE) - Arsenal and West Ham United are both bemoaning a lack of a cutting edge ahead of Wednesday night's London derby at the Emirates Stadium.

Arsene Wenger's side will try to avoid losing three on the trot in the Premier League for the first time since Jan. 2-22, 2012. Arsenal have fallen behind by two goals early in consecutive defeats, losing 2-1 at Stamford Bridge to Chelsea on Sunday.

"We are in a position where you are of course concerned by where we are," Wenger told Arsenal's official website. "It's very difficult to accept because you feel there is a lot of quality in the team but football is (about) efficiency and spirit of efficiency."

The Gunners are in sixth place in the league on 34 points - seven behind fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur.

"The table is the table," Wenger said. "We have lost two big games in the last week. That's damaging for us. We can't afford to lose more points. It's a concern."

West Ham have one victory in their last seven league fixtures after a 1-1 draw with Queens Park Rangers on Saturday. Joe Cole's second-half equaliser salvaged a point in a match in which the Hammers outshot the visitors 19-9, including 8-2 in shots on goal.

"Technically and tactically we did exceptionally well because we had the energy to do so," boss Sam Allardyce told West Ham's official website. "Unfortunately our final ability to score a chance is the one thing that's lacking."

The Hammers are in 12th place on 27 points - eight above the drop.

Arsenal will have Laurent Koscielny available again after the defender was suspended for the Chelsea match. Koscielny should help stabilise a back line that turned in a shoddy performance at Stamford Bridge, with Bacary Sagna in particular in poor form.

Theo Walcott's 58th-minute goal proved to be a consolation strike.

"We only came into the game when we were 2-0 down - that's worrying," Wenger said.

The Gunners also had a poor start Oct. 6 at Upton Park, as the home side led through Mohamed Diame in the 21st minute before Olivier Giroud, Walcott and Santi Cazorla all found the target in a 3-1 victory.

Cole had yet to rejoin West Ham from Liverpool. This will be his sixth appearance against Arsenal with the Hammers as he seeks his first victory.

"We'll go to Arsenal to win the game," Cole said. "We have done it before as West Ham."

Allardyce hinted at more changes after he shook up the squad from an FA Cup loss to Manchester United in midweek.

"I'll change the team and might change the formation and use the squad to its full potential," Allardyce said. "The reason we dominated the game against QPR so much is that only three of the players that played in the previous game at Manchester United started.

Allardyce won't have the services of Marouane Chamakh, who is on loan from the Gunners.

West Ham will look to create the same sensation they did when they become the first visiting side to win at the Emirates in 2007 on Bobby Zamora's goal in a 1-0 victory.

Updated January 21, 2013

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