Arsenal v West Ham

Mahrez reflects on ”extraordinary” AFCON achievement

Arsenal host West Ham in their opener Sunday hoping to get their campaign off to the best possible start as they look to challenge for the title this season.

The Gunners were made to pay for a poor start last season and trailed champions Chelsea for the entire campaign, eventually finishing third behind Manchester City, 12 points adrift of the Blues.

Arsene Wenger's side, however, have been dominant in pre-season and with the Frenchman having recently put to bed his winless record against Jose Mourinho in their 1-0 Community Shield, the north London club are worth considering as a threat to Chelsea this season.

In team news, Wenger has a largely fit squad to choose from but will be without Jack Wilshere who has suffered yet another ankle injury and Danny Welbeck who is nursing a knee injury.

Last year's player of the season Alexis Sanchez will also be missing, with Wenger having given the Chilean an extended break due to his exploits at the Copa America.

The Hammers, meanwhile, will be desperate for a good result at the Emirates following their very poor showing in the Europa League qualifier, where they were knocked out 3-2 on aggregate by Romanian minnows Astra.

New boss Slaven Bilic may not expect to come away with the Emirates with anything, but a point away to the Gunners will do a lot to endear himself to the Upton Park faithful after such a diabolical showing in Europe.

With Andy Carroll and Enner Valencia (both knee) sidelined, Bilic will have a lack of options up front but Winston Reid and Joey O'Brien are expected to overcome knocks to feature.