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Arsenal vs Fulham: Match Preview & Prediction

Arsenal host Fulham in Saturday’s evening kick off with the home side favourites to extend their winning streak in the Premier League to six when they face Fulham.

Arsenal host Fulham in Saturday’s evening kick off with the home side favourites to extend their winning streak in the Premier League to six when they face Fulham.

Arsene Wenger’s side return to domestic action following their 2-1 victory over Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Wednesday night that saw them became the first English side to progress from the group stages of this season’s Champions League.

Fulham have produced just 2 wins in their opening 12 Premier League games under Martin Jol. Last weekend they had Mark Schwarzer to thank for a good save at the end of the game as the visitors came away with a 0-0 draw at Sunderland.

The Cottagers have looked poor domestically under the former Tottenham manager, picking up just 11 points heading into a busy and tough schedule between now and new year.

Robin van Persie is the player of 2011 as he heads into this game with 13 league goals to his name this season and off the back of a midweek brace against German Bundesliga champions, Borussia Dortmund. The Dutchman will be Arsenal’s biggest threat, as per usual heading into this match.

The pace either side of him is a threat, with all of Theo Walcott’s Premier League assists in 2011 being notably tucked away by van Persie himself. Gervinho, wasteful last weekend in Arsenal’s 2-1 win over Norwich is another pacey forward who has caused defences problems this season, but is often let down by his decisions to hold onto the ball for too long.

This pace going forward for Arsenal is a favourable match up when they face a Fulham defence consisting of Aaron Hughes, Chris Baird, Brede Hangeland and John Arne Riise. The latter in particular I still believe is overrated.

Those previously-mentioned forwards of Arsenal have both Mikel Arteta and Aaron Ramsey to play in the centre of the pitch providing them with through balls to latch onto and general build up play for Robin van Persie and co to feed off.

Alex Song, who’s great run against Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday night to setup the opening goal is the holding midfielder. His lack of discipline to maintain his position and stride forward and out of position could see both Clint Dempsey and Danny Murphy with space on the counter attack in this game. The pair have 5 goals between them so far.

Up front, Bobby Zamora has 3 goals in the Premier League so far this season; all coming at Craven Cottage. Andy Johnson’s three goals all came against Queens Park Rangers in a freak 6-0 victory.

Fulham are struggling to score goals under Jol and have just 3 in their 6 away games this season. 2 of those came in their 2-0 victory at Wigan.

This game is on TV Saturday evening and I’m expecting to see Arsenal dictating the game. While Fuham will try make the game as frustrating for both the opposition and fans by playing very defensively, I expect Arsenal to break them down one way or another.

Like last weekend, I think the bookmakers are being more generous than they should by pricing up Arsenal at 1.47 currently. I don’t expect a Champions League hangover or 90 minutes of resilience from Fulham. This is a home win.

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