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Premier League

  • 26 November 2011
  • • 17:30
  • • Emirates Stadium, London
  • Referee: M. Dean
  • • Attendance: 60043
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Arsenal - Fulham Preview: Arsene Wenger's men aiming for sixth succesive Premier League victory

Cottagers look for first ever win at the Emirates, while Robin van Persie looks to add to 13 goals this season and find the net for the sixth game in a row in the Premier League


PROBABLE LINEUPS

ARSENAL


Szczesny
Koscielny, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Santos
Arteta, Song, Ramsey
Walcott, Van Persie, Gervinho


FULHAM

Schwarzer
Baird, Hangeland, Senderos, Riise
Dempsey, Murphy, Etuhu, Duff
Dembele, Zamora
Arsenal are short on numbers in their defence with Bacary Sagna, Carl Jenkinson and Kieran Gibbs all missing with long term injuries. Laurent Koscielny will likely start at right-back again, while Johan Djoruou provides an alternative option for Arsene Wenger.

Abou Diaby could feature on the bench with Tomas Rosicky as the Frenchman may stick with same midfield trio that played against Borussia Dortmund and Norwich in the past two games. Robin van Persie is certain to start up-front with Gervinho and Theo Walcott either side of him, as the system has been fruitful for the Gunners over the past month.

Fulham should be mainly unchanged from the draw with Sunderland last week.  Zdenek Grygera is still missing for Martin Jol with a knee injury, so Chris Baird will remain at right-back. John Arne Riise should return to the team after missing the clash with the Black Cats to attend the birth of his son.

Aaron Hughes could drop to the bench or partner Brede Hangeland in the central of defence, but Jol could keep Philippe Senderos in the line-up after good performance last week. Steve Sidwell could also return for the Cottagers.


DID YOU KNOW
 
  • Since losing the north London derby on October 2, Arsenal have won five games in a row in the Premier League. This has taken them to seventh place in the table.
  • Robin van Persie (pictured right) is the leading scorer in the top-flight with 13 goals. The Dutchman has scored in five succesive matches netting 10 goals including a hat-trick against Chelsea.
  • The Gunners skipper has scored over half of his side’s 25 league goals while Alex Song and Gervinho have contributed by assisting four times each this season, putting them in the top 10 in the league.
  • Arsene Wenger’s side have joint second best home record in the league, losing only one game out of six and winning the other five. Only leaders Manchester City can better that.
  • Arsenal and Fulham have met 48 times in the league, with Gunners winning 33 times and the Cottagers just seven. The remaining eight matches have finished as draws.
  • Fulham have conceded 15 goals this season, but have kept the second most number of clean sheets in the Premier League with five.
  • This season Martin Jol’s team have picked up just one win away from home and have managed a mere three goals away from Craven Cottage.
  • The Cottagers have never won at Arsenal in 24 attempts, conceding 61 goals in the process whilst only scoring 19 themselves.
  • Fulham’s last win over Arsenal came at Craven Cottage in 2008 when Brede Hangeland netted a first half header to give the hosts - at the time - a win.
  • Jol’s charges have picked up 27 yellow cards in their first 12 league games. Only Chelsea and Blackburn have more cautions against their names.
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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
1Wojciech SzczesnyGoalkeeper
4Per MertesackerDefender
5Thomas VermaelenDefender
27Andre SantosDefender
5Johan DjourouDefender
8Mikel ArtetaMidfielder
16Aaron RamseyMidfielder
17Alex SongMidfielder
10Andrey ArshavinMidfielder
20Robin van PersieStriker
14Theo WalcottStriker
21Lukasz FabianskiGoalkeeper
6Laurent KoscielnyDefender
24A. DiabyMidfielder
35Emmanuel FrimpongMidfielder
30Yossi BenayounMidfielder
27GervinhoStriker
29Marouane ChamakhStriker
23Mark SchwarzerGoalkeeper
3John Arne RiiseDefender
-Brede HangelandDefender
6Chris BairdDefender
14Philippe SenderosDefender
13Danny MurphyMidfielder
20Dickson EtuhuMidfielder
30Mousa DembeleStriker
11Bryan RuizStriker
2Clint DempseyStriker
25B. ZamoraStriker
38Neil EtheridgeGoalkeeper
18Aaron HughesDefender
17Matthew BriggsDefender
10Pajtim KasamiMidfielder
15Marcel GecovMidfielder
21Kerim FreiMidfielder
8Andy JohnsonStriker
Players to Watch
Robin van Persie
Robin van Persie
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 20
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The Arsenal skipper has been great form and has carried the Gunners up the table with 10 goals in the last five matches. His movement in the box is superb, so Fulham’s centre-halves cannot allow him an inch of space for fear of being punished.

The Cottagers must not give away any cheap free-kicks in striking distance of their net, as Van Persie has proved on more than one occasion his power and accuracy is arguably the best in the Premier League. That goes for shots outside the box as well. If Fulham somehow manage to stop him they may have a chance in this game.

B. Zamora
B. Zamora
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 25
Games Goals YC RC
1 0 0 0
The England international has not quite fired this season, but he does have the ability to cause Arsenal problems. The Gunners are known to struggle against physical players and Zamora can be a handful if defences are not prepared to deal with him. He has struggled for goals this season, but if you give him a chance in front of goal he willl more than likely take it.

The 30-year-old needs to hold the ball and bring his team-mates into the game whenever he can, as it is unlikely that Fulham will see a lot of it. So they need to make the most of their possession, particularly more so when the forward has the ball at his feet.

If Zamora has a good game the Cottagers have a good chance of getting a result.

Prediction
Arsenal have been in excellent form recently and look like the team of old. Robin van Persie is striking fear into every team he has played against, and is unable to stop scoring. So expect another victory for the Gunners. Fulham have never won at Arsenal, and it is unlikely that they will change this record on Saturday despite their good defensive showings this season.
Editor's Prediction
Fulham 0

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