Premier League: Fulham v Arsenal match preview

A look ahead to this weekend's Premier League fixture at Craven Cottage

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The Independent Football

The last time these two teams faced off at Craven Cottage on the second week of the season, the game ended 1-0 to the hosts thanks to a solitary Brede Hangeland goal in August 2008. Arsene Wenger and his side will be aiming to avoid repeating history as they look for a quick Premier League recovery, having succumbed to Paul Lambert’s youthful Villa team at home on the opening day of the season.

Martin Jol’s Fulham team enjoyed a more fruitful start to their campaign with surprise inclusion Pajtim Kasami scoring the only goal at the Stadium of Light. Arsenal go into Saturday’s lunchtime kick off without many first team players, including injured Thomas Vermaelen, Mikel Arteta and the suspended Laurent Koscielny. David Stockdale will almost certainly fill in for the injured Maarten Stekelenburg, and new signings Darren Bent and Scott Parker could make their debuts.

Arsenal go into their 25th top-flight league encounter with Fulham on the back of a crucial Champions League away win against Fenerbahce, but Wenger will surely hope that this fixture doesn't live up to its red card-littered recent history, with the Frenchman already having a very small squad at his disposal.      

KICK-OFF: Saturday, 12.45pm

PAST THREE MEETINGS…

Fulham 0 Arsenal 1 (Mertesacker), Premier League, April 2011

Arsenal 3 (Giroud 2, Podolski) Fulham 3 (Berbatov 2, Kacaniklic), Premier League, November 2011

Fulham 2 (Sidwell, Zamora) Arsenal 1 (Koscielny), Premier League, January 2012

STATS…

Darren Bent has scored 7 goals in his last 11 matches against Arsenal.

There have been 4 red cards in the last 3 fixtures between these two teams (Sidwell, Giroud, Djourou and Gera).

Fulham haven’t lost their opening home game of the season since the 2009-10 campaign (losing 2-0 to Chelsea).

ODDS…

Fulham to win: 3.95

Arsenal to win: 2.12

Draw: 3.55

TV: Live on BT Sport 1 at 12.45pm, highlights on BBC1 at 10.20pm.

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