Arsenal v Fulham
Saturday 28 February 2009,
Arsenal drew 0-0 with Sunderland at home in their last league outing, making a run of four successive league draws and 12 straight matches without a loss.
In their last five matches, Arsenal have won one (vs Hull City) and drew four (vs Sunderland, Tottenham, West Ham and Everton), earning themselves seven points from the fifteen available. The Gunners found the back of the net four times and conceded twice in these matches, as they currently sit 5th in the Premier League, five points behind 4th placed Aston Villa.
Arsenal may very well welcome back Theo Walcott to their squad for this match, after his lengthy layoff from a shoulder injury. Mikael Silvestre and Abou Diaby may also be fit for this match, although the Gunners will likely still be without Eduardo (hamstring), Adebayor (hamstring), Fabregas (knee), and Rosicky (hamstring).
Fulham defeated West Bromwich 2-0 at home in their last league encounter.
In their last five league matches, Fulham have won two (v West Brom and Portsmouth), drawn one (v Wigan), and lost two (v Manchester United and Sunderland), earning themselves seven points from the fifteen available. The Cottagers scored five and conceded five in these matches, as they currently find themselves 8th in the league, two points behind 7th placed Wigan.
Fulham will be without defender John Paintsil for this match due to a one match suspension from yellow card accumulation, but do not currently have any injury concerns.
Fulham defeated Arsenal 1-0 earlier in this season at Craven Cottage, but the Gunners were victorious 2-1 in the corresponding fixture last season.
Both teams will go into this match in good spirits after some positive midweek results, with Arsenal defeating AS Roma 1-0 in their first-leg Champions League encounter, whilst Fulham came from behind to defeat Swansea in their fifth round FA Cup Replay.
The win over Roma for Arsenal will likely inject the Gunners with some much-needed confidence, after yet another recent form slump in the Premier League that has seen the side miss out on much-needed points in the fight for a spot in next season’s Champions League. Also, the possible return from injury of some key starting players to the squad will make the Arsenal line-up even stronger and more confident.
Arsenal have not lost a single match at the Emirates to Fulham in the last six seasons, and this match looks unlikely to present anything different with Arsenal currently holding the 4th best home record in the league whilst Fulham have the 3rd worst away form.
Arsenal will go into yet another match as heavy favourites for victory as they continue their chase for a top four league spot, however given their recent form, a draw with the solid Fulham side should not be entirely ruled out as a possibility.
Read all the weekend previews here.