Fulham vs Arsenal Preview, Team News, Likely Line-ups & Predicted Score
Arsenal take on Fulham at Craven Cottage on Saturday afternoon looking to reclaim third spot in the Premier League table. Here’s a preview for the big game.
Arsenal make the short trip across London to take on Fulham at Craven Cottage on Saturday afternoon looking to reclaim third spot in the Premier League table.
We dropped to fourth after Chelsea followed up our 0-0 draw with Everton on Tuesday with a resounding 3-0 win at Fulham on Wednesday, but we’ve got the chance to leapfrog the Blues once again as they don’t play until Sunday when they face a tough trip to Anfield.
This is going to be a key weekend in the run-in with both Spurs (home to Man City) and Chelsea (away to Liverpool) facing very tough games, so we need to take advantage and ensure we keep the pressure on.
Don’t get me wrong though, Craven Cottage is never an easy place to go and the 3-0 scoreline suggests Chelsea battered them in midweek but that wasn’t the case at all. The Cottagers were the better side before David Luiz opened the scoring with a worldy and I’d expect them to be right up for this one after their midweek disappointment.
We’re in good form though having lost just once in the last 11 games and were on a four-game winning streak before Tuesday’s draw.
Fulham are currently sitting eight on 40 points so have very little left to play for other than pride, but we’ve struggled in recent games with them having not won in their last four encounters, and were held to a 3-3 draw in the corresponding fixture at the Emirates earlier in the season.
Arsene Wenger has confirmed Lukasz Fabianski will miss out once again with a rib injury meaning Wojciech Szczesny is in line to start his second game in a row after previously seeing himself frozen out of the team.
Tomas Rosicky is again a doubt after missing the Everton clash with a hamstring injury. I really hope he makes it as we certainly missed him against the Toffees but Arsene didn’t sound hopeful in his press conference.
There are also slight doubts over Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain but I’d expect all three to be passed fit. Jack hasn’t looked 100% fit in his last two games and while I personally think he should sit this one out, especially if Rosicky’s passed fit, I think the boss will start him for a third game in a week. Which will be a huge risk.
Lukas Podolski is pushing for a recall after impressing off the bench in recent games and Thomas Vermaelen is also hoping to start after being dropped in midweek, but I think Wenger will stick with the team that drew with Everton.
The boss has backed Olivier Giroud to bounce back after his disappointing performance last time out when he missed several good chances to win the game. I’m still not convinced by the big Frenchman yet but his physical presence will be important this weekend. Let’s just hope he has his shooting boots on as well.
Fulham will once again be without winger Damien Duff as he continues to overcome an adductor strain. Former Arsenal midfielder Steve Sidewell is available again after completing his three-game ban and is expected to come in for Enoh.
However, midfield’s Ashkan Dejagah and Mahamadou Diarra will miss the rest of the season with ankle and knee injuries respectively.
Fulham have been frustrating opposition for Arsenal in recent times and the Gunners have struggled on their travels in the capital of late too, but I’m going to back the boys to win this one and put the pressure on Chelsea and Tottenham ahead of their big games on Sunday. Fulham 1-2 Arsenal
What would be your preferred line-up and whats your predicted score for the game? Get involved in the comments section below.
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