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West Ham manager David Moyes preparing for Arsenal’s ‘flexibility’

premier league west ham united v burnley
West Ham United manager David Moyes

West Ham boss David Moyes admits he will have some thinking to do when his side come up against the flexibility of Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal on Sunday.

The Irons host the Gunners looking to produce a response from the 2-1 home defeat by Eintracht Frankfurt in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final on Thursday night.

With four games left, West Ham sit seventh in the Premier League table, but still within striking distance of both Tottenham and Manchester United.

Arsenal, meanwhile, are looking to secure a top-four finish which would see them return to Champions League football.

The Gunners have recovered from three-straight league defeats to produce impressive displays as they won 4-2 at Chelsea and then beat United 3-1 last weekend.

Moyes worked with Arteta when he was manager at Everton and has been impressed with how the Spaniard has adapted his approach depending on their opposition.

“I think he’s done a really good job,” said Moyes, who had former midfielder Arteta as part of his squad for six years at Goodison Park.

“They were in the semi-finals of the Europa League last year and it shows how well they have come on from what they have done last year, so I am sure Mikel wants his teams to be in Europe (again).

“They have a very good style of play and it is different from Eintracht Frankfurt’s.

“Frankfurt also have a distinctive style, maybe a little bit more of a counter-attack style with speed.

“Arsenal are more of a side who build their play. They have got a really good set pattern, but also it has got flexibility and it is quite difficult to look at and understand.”

Despite the disappointment of West Ham’s first European semi-final for 46 years not going according to plan, Moyes is confident his squad can quickly regroup to focus on domestic matters.

“We have been quite robust all season, so I’m hoping that we’ll be able to show that again,” the West Ham boss said at a press conference.

Irons centre-back Craig Dawson will miss Sunday’s trip to the Emirates Stadium after he was sent off during last weekend’s 1-0 defeat at Chelsea, where Christian Pulisic scored a last-minute winner.

Defender Ben Johnson feels the players can regroup from the frustrations of Thursday night to produced a strong finish to their Premier League campaign.

“There have been opportunities in the league where things have gone our way and we’ve not done our job and now we’re sitting in seventh when we could be fifth or comfortable in sixth, so the Premier League games are so important,” Johnson, 22, told West Ham TV.

“We’ve got to focus because we want to be in the Europa League again.

“Our aim is to be in the Champions League (through winning the Europa League) too, so we have got to go one better and step it up again next Thursday, while also focusing on the Premier League as well to cement that Europa League place at least for next season.”

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