PREVIEW: Arsenal v Fulham – Team News, Preferred XI & Prediction

By on January 17, 2014

Fulham are the visitors to the Emirates Stadium this weekend as we look to maintain our lead at the top of the table. A 2-1 win over Aston Villa on Monday meant we returned to the summit, and while any away win in the Premier League is worth celebrating, we made it far more difficult than it needed to be.

Villa were there for the taking and we could have put five past them if we really wanted to. I do most of my betting at Sports Betting Dime and I was tempted to log in and put a bet on us getting at least four at half time, the game was that easy. However, we took our foot off the gas when it was 2-0 and were perhaps fortunate to come away with the three points in the end, so let’s hope we learn from it and put teams away when we’re on top in future.

We’ve now strung together five wins on the bounce since the drab 0-0 draw with Chelsea last month, so while we may not be playing at our best, we’re still grinding out the results. Isn’t that what champions are made of?

The Fulham game should be a good opportunity for us to ensure we remain top of the league. Man City are sure to beat Cardiff at the Etihad but we’re guaranteed to extend our lead over one of our rivals with Chelsea playing Manchester United on Sunday.

The Cottagers are in woeful form and have the worse defence in the division, so let’s take this opportunity to smash them and improve our goal difference.

Team News

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain returned from his five month lay-off with a late substitute appearance on Monday and I’m hearing rumours he was playing alongside Mathieu Flamini in training this week. Mikel Arteta and Aaron Ramsey remain on the sidelines through injury, so this could be a good opportunity for the youngster to get his first start since the opening day of the season.

Wenger confirmed on Arsenal.com that Thomas Vermaelen is also still missing with a knee injury so Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny will start in defence. Nacho Monreal is likely to be fit despite being forced off with an ankle knock against Villa. The boss confirmed it’s nothing serious and he should be in the squad tomorrow, but Kieran Gibbs is expected to start.

Tomas Rosicky is also likely to be on the bench despite having surgery to reset a broken nose in midweek. The Czech international trained with a mask today and should be in the squad.

Nicklas Bendtner, Theo Walcott, Abou Diaby and Yaya Sanogo are all out injured.

Preferred XI

If the Ox does start, it will likely see Jack Wilshere moved out to the wing where he’s played a few times this season. Serge Gnabry did OK against Villa but maybe not enough to keep his place, and he may need a breather after starting the last two games.

Santi Cazorla didn’t play well at all last Monday and I wouldn’t be too upset if Lukas Podolski started ahead of him on the left, but I think the German will be kept in reserve before featuring against Coventry next week.


A home game against Fulham should be a routine win for the league leaders and if we have any desires about staying there for the rest of the season, we need to ensure we come away with three points. I’m backing the boys to put in a display tomorrow.

Arsenal 4-0 Fulham. COYG!!!!!!

What are your thoughts ahead of the game? Will it be a walk in the park?


  1. Kingsley Tochukwu

    January 17, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    Very nice team to start. 4-0

  2. Ikusika festus

    January 17, 2014 at 10:11 pm

    nice team it is 3. 0

  3. muller.ug

    January 18, 2014 at 1:45 am

    AOC is definately not starting and if he was too start he would be played on the right wing, Jack is a much better player in the middle of the pack but if changes are to be made in the starting line up from villa, will then see poldi come on for carzola or gnabry

  4. caligunna16

    January 18, 2014 at 6:09 am


    poldi needs to get some games in and get going.

    AOC, Gnabry and jenks off the bench

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