Rafa Benitez’s men will leapfrog Manchester Utd into first place on goal difference if they overcome the Hammers in the 5.30pm kick-off on Saturday. Utd play local rivals Manchester City the following day – and will have a game in hand after that, too.
And Arbeloa knows winning in London will put more pressure on United. He said, “I prefer to play before United. If we can win, maybe they will play against City with a bit more pressure.
“You never know. If they lose their next game they may feel the pressure and you don’t know what will happen, so it is important we keep pressing them.
“It is important for us to focus on our own game, do our job and afterwards we can see what they do. But for me, it is better to play before them.”