Arsenal v Fulham: Premier League match preview

A look ahead to this weekend's Premier League fixture at the Emirates Stadium

Arsenal's Jack Wilshere celebrates scoring the opening goal in the Gunners' 2-1 Premier League victory over Aston Villa
Arsenal's Jack Wilshere celebrates scoring the opening goal in the Gunners' 2-1 Premier League victory over Aston Villa

Those waiting for Arsenal’s usual mid-season capitulation are yet to see anything materialise. Arsene Wenger’s side are top of the table and in fine form, winning their last four.

Even when struck with a setback, in the form of a 6 – 3 defeat to Manchester City, Arsenal have bounced back, winning four of their next five. It is Manchester City who are treading on Arsene Wenger’s long coattails, and the Gunners’ boss knows that anything but victory against Fulham will likely surrender their lead in the league.

Fulham have the worst defence in the division, and Arsenal’s brand of attacking football brings goals; they have only failed to score twice in the league this season. The loss of Walcott to injury will be a blow, but there is more than enough strength in depth to cope at the Emirates. Walcott’s set back will give a chance to explosive youngster Serge Gnabry who will look to cement his place in the first team.

While Arsenal are succeeding in not capitulating, Fulham suffered a disastrous result last week. A 4-1 home defeat to fellow relegation candidates Sunderland was the worst possible outcome for Rene Meulensteen’s side.

The scoreline was perhaps a little harsh on the Londoners though, and some confidence will be restored following a midweek cup win. The match will also give Dimitar Berbatov the chance to impress at the Emirates, the forward being heavily linked with the Gunners over the past few weeks.

KICK-OFF: Saturday, 3pm

PAST THREE MEETINGS:

Fulham 1 (Bent) Arsenal 3 (Giroud, Podolski 2) Premier League, August 2013

Fulham 0 Arsenal 1 (Mertesacker), Premier League, April 2013

Arsenal 3 (Giroud 2, Podolski), Fulham 3 (Berbatov 2, Kacaniklic), Premier League, November 2012

STATS:

Fulham have the worst defensive record in the league, they’ve conceded the most goals and only kept a clean sheet in 14% of their games.

Arsenal have not lost to a London team so far this season.

Fulham have only drawn one game this season.

ODDS…

Arsenal to win: 1.22

Fulham to win: 13.0

Draw: 6.0

TV: Highlights on BBC1 at 10.20pm.

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