Today Arsenal feature in their third match of what has already been a very up and down season, with one win and one loss on the books! Having been impressive in midweek against Fenerbahce in the Champions League qualification round, they return next Tuesday for the home leg at the Emirates. But before that we have to take all three points from a difficult away trip to Fulham.
Fulham away in the league is never easy and Craven Cottage can be a fantastic place to go! In previous years they may have struggled with talent, but a rejuvenated squad that features summer additions of Darren Bent, Adel Taarabt and Maarten Stekelenburg, suddenly the game got much harder.
Fulham have always been an Arsenal weak link when it comes to playing. We often fall short at the hands of the Cottagers and if anything is to go by with last weekend’s opening performances vs Aston Villa, then we must be worried that we will fall short once again.
Villa last weekend was a disaster for many reasons. It wasn’t all about the referee as some people like to see it and we must be honest in recognising it was also a poor performance from the Arsenal players. As I’m sure a lot of you saw, we then bucked up our ideas for the Fenerbahce game and hopefully we can take that spirit into this weekend’s game and give a strong performance to put us back on track.
There isn’t any new injury news as far as I’m aware and so it’s the same as last week with Vermaelen and Arteta being the two long term injuries, however we have seen Monreal return to the team, and Gibbs, Sagna, Ramsey and Rosicky are all expected to be alright for the game after playing in midweek. However I still expect our line-up to change a little bit with players being possibly slightly tired; however there won’t be any major changes.
I can see the line up being:
Jenkinson Mertesacker Sagna Gibbs
Walcott Giroud Podolski
Of course Alex Oxlade Chamberlain will not feature, whilst Laurent Koscielny serves his one match ban. I predicted a 3-1 win for the Gunners over Villa and of course that didn’t work out and it turned out to be the other way round. I’m not expecting anything special this time around and so I’m going to go with Fulham 1 -1 Arsenal.