Arsenal travel to Craven Cottage on Saturday on the back of a five-game unbeaten run, as their pursuit of a top-four finish gathers pace. In order to nail down Champions League qualification for a 16th successive season, Arsenal must dilute the threat of the teams which lie just beneath them. Arsene Wenger’s side sit fourth in the table, two points ahead of north London rivals Tottenham, who have a game in hand.
The Gunners’ late-season charge was triggered by defeat at White Hart Lane, in March, and Wenger will be hoping for continued momentum against a stuttering Fulham side.
The Cottagers lie tenth in the table and will be boosted by the return of Steve Sidwell, who has completed a three-match suspension following his red card against QPR. Sidwell’s absence has coincided with an alarming dip in form for Martin Jol’s men, who must halt their current slide to secure a top-half finish
The last time these two sides met, they shared six goals in a thrilling encounter at The Emirates. Mark Schwarzer’s late penalty save preserved an impressive point for Fulham back in November and they will be looking to further dent Arsenal’s top-four aspirations, this weekend.
KICK-OFF: Saturday, 3pm
PAST THREE MEETINGS…
Arsenal 3 (Giroud 2, Podolski) Fulham 3 (Berbatov 2, Kacaniklic) Premier League, November 2012
Fulham 2 (Sidwell, Zamora) Arsenal 1 (Koscielny), Premier League, January 2012
Arsenal 1 (Vermaelen) Fulham 1 (Vermaelen og), Premier League, November 2011
Fulham are unbeaten in their last four games against Arsenal.
Since the start of 2010, Arsenal have won just three of their 13 London derbies away from home in the Premier League (L8 D2).
Fulham have been saved by the woodwork 18 times this season.
Dimitar Berbatov has scored 13 Premier League goals this season, including four in his last four.
Fulham to win: 4.5
Arsenal to win: 1.75
TV: Highlights on BBC1 at 10.30pm.