West Ham boss Sam Allardyce believes Arsenal’s increasing injury list may play a telling role in the business end of the season, starting with the Hammers' trip to the Emirates on Tuesday night.
Arsene Wenger’s men currently hold the undesirable distinction of being top of the injury table in the Premier League with nine absentees.
Arsenal need a win over West ham to regain fourth spot after Everton’s defeat of Sunderland at the weekend pushed the Gunners out of the Champions League places.
After enduring a sticky spell during the middle part of the campaign, largely thanks to a long injury list, Allardyce knows the difficulty of churning out results without key men all too well.
He said: "Arsene has suffered injuries to his squad at the wrong time. It’s been like that for David Moyes as well. When that spell comes it’s difficult to maintain the results that you’ve had before.
"With Arsenal’s game load and some of their injuries, that may weaken them, but they keep a squad of Champions League and international players so it’s still a hugely difficult game for us. We will have to be on song to try and get something."
A victory for West ham would see them go ten points clear of the relegation places and three points behind Stoke City in 10th, the position the Hammers finished in last season.
The hosts will be missing Mathieu Flamini through suspension, with the likes of Mesut Ozil, Jack Wilshire, Laurent Koscielny and Tomas Rosicky all sidelined as well.
Allardyce is sweating on the fitness of influential captain Kevin Nolan, who came off with a hamstring injury last week, whilst it's unlikely George McCartney will recover from the same problem in time.