The gunners will look to extend their current winning run in the Premier League to six consecutive victories after last weeks away win against Norwich. Arsenal come into this tie after an important midweek victory against German club Borussia Dortmund which guaranteed progression to the knock-out phase of the Champions League in top place of Group F. All done under the watch of legends Thierry Henry and Roger Federer too!
In terms of offence expect to see the same attacking trio consisting of captain Robin van Persie, Theo Walcott and Gervinho. Arsenal’s potent front three have terrorized opposition in recent weeks producing a large number of opportunities that Van Persie has capalitilised on. Expect the Dutchman to do more of the same with his natural ability to be in the right place at the right time as well as his ability to finish from any threatening position. Hopefully Gervinho brings his finishing boots too after wasting one-on-one opportunities in recent weeks.
In terms of the back-line, Arsenal have been stretched quite thin with lengthy injuries to the ever reliable Bacary Sagna as well as youngsters Kieran Gibbs and Carl Jenksinson. It is likely that in-form defender Laurent Koscielny will start at right-back again with Per Mertesacker and Thomas Vermaelen in the middle of defence and Santos on the left. Djourou will be the versatile defender on the bench if needed.
It is important that the gunners maintain their current form and keep pressure on the teams ahead of them, particularly Liverpool who are only ahead on goal difference and face tough opposition in Manchester City at the weekend. Fulham’s dismal away form with only one win this season as well as no wins ever against Arsenal away from Craven Cottage means hopefully only one thing. Expect goals from the gunners at their home ground and expect the gunners to comfortably secure all three points!
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(Premier League in red)
on the news following the Dortmund match…
There are a few knocks you get from high intensity games but no injuries. It’s very good news because we are a bit short in some departments – especially defensively. Every player we lose at the moment could be very detrimental. We just have to monitor their recovery and go into the next game.
on Koscielny being substituted late on…
It was just fatigue.
on the two young full-backs who are out…
Jenkinson is at least three weeks away, Gibbs maybe four. They are progressing as normal.
on Abou Diaby…
It was good to see him back and little quicker than we had thought. He has worked very hard with the medical team and fitness coaches.
Arsenal – Robin Van Persie – The flying Dutchman has been in outstanding form this season and his form can not be argued with. The Dutchman has scored braces in the last two consecutive games and expect more of the same in the upcoming match against Fulham.
Fulham – Bobby Zamora – Arsenal have a history of having trouble with physical strikers and Zamora will offer that kind of strike-play for Fulham. Hopefully Per has learned from his horrible mistake at the weekend and takes no chances with Zamora.
Koscielny Mertesacker Vermaelen Santos
Walcott Van Persie (c) Gervinho
There is a possibility that Djourou might take the place of Koscielny after the Frenchman was subbed in midweek due to fatigue. Other than this everything else is likely to remain the same with no significant injuries picked up from the Champions League win against Dortmund.