Fulham v Arsenal – Match Preview
Week two of the Premier League sees the Gunners visit Fulham. We have a good record against Fulham at the Cottage, having won all bar one of our games. The season started well for Arsenal with 1-0 win over West Brom, whilst Fulham lost 2-1 to newly promoted Hull City.
Roy Hodgson has been busy over the summer dismantling the team Lawrie Sanchez built and bringing player after player. His most high profile summer signing was Andy Johnson from Everton for £10M. Johnson though will be absent on Saturday, leaving Bobby Zamorra to lead the Cottagers attack.
Arsenal’s new signing will be in the squad for the game. He is not expected to start. It will be interesting if Wenger decides its time to introduce Toure in the place of Djourou. The Swiss defender played well against West Brom and will be very unfortunate to miss out.
Midfield still remains a problem for Arsenal. Diaby and Rosicky are not expected to be back until September, whilst we will have to wait until Wednesday at the earliest to see Cesc make his first appearance. This leaves Theo to continue plying his trade. We expect an improvement in Walcott, he is too inconsistent and makes his substitution an inevitability week-in, week-out. Nasri remains a doubt for the game, he pulled out of the France game during the week. Wenger will not wish to aggravate the injury, but if it is minor he will play and be rested against FC Twente.
This leaves the central midfield where the Alex Song will compete for a place. Whilst on loan and Charlton and playing for Cameroon, Song performed well and we must hope that he can transfer that form to us this Saturday. Otherwise it will be Denilson and Eboue. If only Eboue could practice shooting in training, he might stand a chance of hitting the target.
Last week Arsene played Bendtner with Adebayor, despite a good game, I expect van Persie to return to the starting eleven and score his first goal of the season.
With players returning from injury and others leaving on loan, the bench will see Carlos Vela, Aaron Ramsey and Mark Randall take their places alongside Silvestre. Arsenal fans will be hoping to see the Mexican striker on Saturday, but we will have to wait to Wednesday.
Last Saturday saw a n all too familiar Arsenal, plenty of chances and inability to kill off the opposition. Until we get midfield re-enforcements and Adebayor rediscovers his scoring touch, we will struggle to kill games. I expect a victory on Saturday but not without our usual last ten minutes of panic defending.
The game is one of several that kicks-off at 5.30pm for Arsenal over the next couple of weeks and is liveon Setanta Sports.