By Damian Mannion
12th January 2019,
Updated: 12th January 2019,
West Ham host Arsenalin the Premier League’s early kick-off, pitting Unai Emery against Manuel Pellegrini.
Their manager’s paths have crossed repeatedly in their careers with their most recent meeting ending in Emery’s favour when Arsenal beat the Hammers 3-1 at the Emirates in August.
However, against Pellegrini away from home it’s a different story for the Spaniard.
Arsenalmay be unbeaten in 11 away matches at West Ham (won eight and drawn three in all competitions) since losing 0-1 in thePremier Leaguein November 2006, but Emeryhas NEVER WONaway from home against Pellegrini during a managerial career that has included stints at Almeria, Valencia and Sevilla when Pellegrini was in charge of Villarreal, Real Madrid, Malaga and Manchester City.
Emery’s woes v Pellegrini
“Usually [Pellegrini has] very offensive teams,” the Arsenal manager said ahead of the game. “They usually play matches with a balance tactically but above all with technical, offensive players.”
And his opposite number appeared to confirm they would take the game to the visitors, having won five of their past eight league matches.
“This year we have demonstrated that we can play as a big team against any team,” Pellegrini said. “We play for three points from the first whistle, and we will do so again against Arsenal.
“I insist on the big team mentality because we are in a big club with 60,000 people behind us and we want to improve.”
The home defence will have to guard against the in form Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, though, with the striker having scored in each of his last four Premier League London derby matches, hitting the back of the net six times, while also providing two assists.