Arsenal Community Shield 2015
Arsenal players pose with the Community Shield trophyReuters

In a season where Arsenal have been tagged as genuine title contenders, the one thing Arsene Wenger cannot afford is to trip up in the opening Premier League fixture at the Emirates against West Ham on Sunday.

In a summer transfer window that has been quiet for Arsenal, ironically they have zoomed right up to the title contenders pool, owing to a settled squad and that one wonderful signing – Petr Cech.

Cech is expected to provide the solidity in goal Arsenal have lacked for a few years now, and if the defence can raise their game that little bit, with injuries avoided as well, Wenger's men will be right up there or thereabouts.

"I'm ready for a fight and of course motivated to start well," Wenger said. "One of our targets is to start strong. We had a good preparation and that should give us the needed confidence.

"The Premier League is a fight in every single game so we have to prepare ourselves mentally for that and come out of the blocks straight away against West Ham.

"For me, success is to get the maximum out of the potential of the team. That is the real success. We also want to do better than last season because we always want to move forward. That means that the target is quite high.

"We won the FA Cup last year and we finished third in the Premier League so our target is very high. Our ambition is to win the Premier League but we have to sustain that by performance and fighting spirit in every single game."

West Ham have bought a few players in already this season, the most exciting of them being Dimitri Payet from Marseille. In Slaven Bilic they also have a new manager, and after seeing a young side crash out of the Europa League in midweek, the Croatian will want his first team to trip up Arsenal at the Emirates.

"I'm excited. I know from when I was here before and have played against English teams in European competition and they all say the Premier League is different and is the hardest league," Bilic said. "I'm looking forward to it.

"As I said, I'm ready and the team is ready and we're going to see on Sunday how it starts."

Team news: Arsenal: Wenger will be without Danny Welbeck and Tomas Rosicky, who are still recovering from their injuries, having missed the entire preseason. Jack Wilshere has found himself out of luck again, fracturing his fibula in training, which means he will be out for at least four weeks.

Alexis Sanchez is also unlikely to feature, as the Chilean only returned to training this week, and even if he is a force of nature, Wenger is not likely to risk the star forward.

West Ham: Enner Valencia will be out for around 10-12 weeks with injury, but Bilic does not have too many other issues, having rested most of his first team in midweek. Carl Jenkinson is ineligible to play against his parent club.

Arsenal vs West Ham Schedule: English Premier League match on 9 August, Sunday at the Emirates Stadium. Kickoff at 6 pm IST, 1.30 pm BST, 8.30 am ET.

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