Fulham v Arsenal (Preview)
After exiting the Carling Cup, in extra time, against Manchester City, Fulham face a difficult fixture with the visit of Arsenal this weekend in a game that will be shown live on ESPN.
After having put in some sub-standard displays in recent matches am I the only one who is a little fearful of what Arsenal could do to us with their expansive and flowing football?
Especially when the little Russian, Arshavin, looks set to return, a return that has even Arsene Wenger crowing,
"Arshavin gives us an attacking option that is always very interesting and away from home he's always very efficient as well."
Anyone remember those four goals he scored away from home last season? Enough to give me nightmares thinking about it!
Fulham Team News:
After selecting a side for the trip to Manchester City that contained eleven changes (not even John Pantsil was picked) there is every chance that Roy Hodgson will do something similar this weekend, except those eleven changes will see him revert back to his strongest starting eleven.
It`ll be interesting to see whether Paul Konchesky can keep shaking off the injury that threatens to sideline him and whether, after his fantastic goal on Wednesday night, Zoltan Gera can gate-crash the starting eleven, we suspect not though with Roy going for a starting eleven of,
Schwarzer, Pantsil, Hughes, Hangeland, Konchesky (or Kelly), Dempsey, Etuhu, Murphy, Duff, Zamora and A.Johnson.
Player to watch: Brede Hangeland
With so many rumours linking the tall Norwegian with a move to Arsenal it`ll be interesting to see how he performs. Will he play out of his skin to show Arsene what he missed out on? Let`s hope so!
Arsenal Team News:
After the 4-0 thumping of Wigan last weekend, Arsene Wenger will be looking for his side to continue their good(ish) start to the season. His squad has been boosted by the news that Andrey Arshavin is available after an absence of three games whilst teenage sensation (is he still that young?) Theo Walcott is also available.
Out though are Manuel Almunia who has a dodgy chest whilst Nasri, Fabianski, Djourou and Denilson all have injuries that are likely to prohibit them from taking part.
Player to watch: Cesc Fabregas
Is the Spanish boy wonder worthy of his potential superstar status or is he over-rated? Look closely on Saturday and make your own mind up!
Match Facts & Stats
Last season Fulham beat Arsenal in the corresponding fixture and also snatched a well earned point at the Emirates Stadium.
After two successive defeats on the road Arsenal will be desperate to not lose a third. But wouldn`t it be great if they did especially when you consider that the last time Arsenal lost three away games on the trot, in November 2006, we were the third of a trio of clubs (including Bolton and West Ham) to beat them - does history have a habit of repeating itself?
Martin Atkinson is the man in charge of affairs.
Although we rumbled Arsenal last season this fixture fills me with fear. If Arsenal turn on the style we may be I for one of those afternoons, especially when you consider our poor recent displays. But, and it`s a big but, we`re due a good win and why not a repeat of last season and a Fulham win? Anyone for a 1-0 win?
It`s a return to Europa League action on Thursday before a trip to fellow London strugglers, West Ham United, next weekend.