Arsenal return to home comforts as they welcome newly promoted Fulham to the Emirates, as Mikel Arteta targets a fourth win of the season.
Arsenal have started their season brilliantly and sit at the top of the Premier League table. Last weekend, Mikel Arteta’s men proved too good for Bournemouth as two goals from Martin Odegaard and a stunning strike from William Saliba secured three points.
That victory last weekend was their third win in as many games this campaign, and Arteta’s side look hungry for more. The Gunners could count the last matchday as successful as rivals dropped points, which allowed Arsenal to open a two-point gap at the top and remain the only team with a 100% record.
At the start of the season, much has been said about Arsenal’s easy fixture list. At this stage last season, the Gunners sat bottom of the league with three defeats, nine goals conceded and zero points on board. It is a contrasting turnaround this time, and if the games are manageable, then the Gunners are grabbing the opportunity with both hands.
Arteta will hope to clinch a fourth win against Fulham at the Emirates and keep their current momentum going. Arteta will know a big test awaits them in two weeks against Manchester United and will aim to go into that game with complete confidence and remain at the top of the table.
Fulham are one of the few teams in the league who have had an unbeaten start to their campaign. After being written off as relegation battlers before a ball got kicked this term, the Cottagers proved their doubters wrong with a solid display against Liverpool on the opening weekend.
Despite a brilliant start to their campaign, Fulham could only manage a goalless draw against Wolves, but last weekend’s result must have brought back some confidence. Aleksandar Mitrovic’s injury-time winner secured all three points for Marco Silva’s men against Brentford, thus earning Marco Silva his first win this campaign.
Silva will have to prepare his side well for the tough test against leaders Arsenal. Fulham have not had any luck against the Gunners in the last ten years, with their most recent victory against the north Londoners coming back in 2012. They will undoubtedly hope to correct that record, although it will be tough.
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Mikel Arteta will be happy with the progress made by his team and will aim for continuity with their performances. With no fresh injuries to contend with following their win over Bournemouth. The manager confirmed during his press conference that he had the entire squad available.
Only Reiss Nelson misses out with a squad injury, although the winger has since reportedly returned to light training. As things stand, Arteta has no reason to tinker with his starting lineup, meaning Arsenal are in line to name a consecutive lineup for the fourth consecutive game this season.
Takehiro Tomiyasu, Fabio Vieira, Emile Smith Rowe and Kieran Tierney are fully fit now and will be on the bench for the Gunners. The Japan international will have been pushing hard for a place in the lineup, although Ben White’s current form at right-back will restrict the full-back entry into the team.
Meanwhile, Oleksandr Zinchenko has cemented his position as Arsenal’s new left-back, keeping Tierney at bay. Gabriel and Saliba will continue in their roles at the heart of the Arsenal defence, with Aaron Ramsdale firmly settled in goal.
Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka seem immovable at this stage, although Arteta does not have many reliable midfield options. The Arsenal manager will be hoping to sign someone before the transfer deadline.
Gabriel Jesus remains the firm choice to lead the line, as the Brazilian will aim for another star showing in front of the Emirates crowd. Bukayo Saka has yet to open his account but will continue to start at right-back, with Odegaard and the in-form Gabriel Martinelli.
Probable lineup (4-2-3-1): Ramsdale; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Partey, Xhaka; Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli; Jesus
The big focus would be on former Arsenal star Bernd Leno, who has been in the news suggesting his Fulham side can challenge the Gunners. The German international started last weekend’s win over Brentford, hoping to prove a difficult challenge for the north Londoners.
— Fulham Football Club (@FulhamFC) August 26, 2022
As for team news, Silva will be without at least four first-team stars. Harry Wilson and Manor Solomon will be absent, while Neeskens Kebano is a significant doubt for the Arsenal clash.
Silva does have a few options to tweak his side for the trip to north London, although he is unlikely to make any changes. An unchanged squad will be hoped to get the desired result, with an increased focus on Joao Palhinha and star striker Aleksandar Mitrovic.
19-year-old Jay Stansfield is likely to keep his place in the side. The star man from the Brentford clash, Andreas Pereira, will play in the attacking midfield role with Bobby Reid on the left side of the Fulham attack.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Leno; Tete, Adarabioyo, Ream, Robinson; Reed, Palhinha; Stansfield, Pereira, Reid; Mitrovic
- Arsenal have won eight of their last ten matches in the Premier League.
- In all competitions, Arsenal are undefeated in their last 15 home matches against Fulham.
- Arsenal have scored at least two goals in eight of their last ten matches in the Premier League.
- Fulham have failed to win their last six away matches in the Premier League.
- Fulham last defeated Arsenal back in January 2012 in the Premier League.
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There have been mild concerns regarding Saka’s displays since the season began. The young attacker has been playing under the shadow of more flashy attackers in the team, such as Gabriel Jesus and Gabriel Martinelli. However, the England international has silently been doing his job on the right wing and will be hoping to hit the ground running.
Saka will be keen on getting on the scoresheet and kickstart his season. Mikel Arteta barely has the same concerns as some of the fans, as by no means has the young attacker been ineffective. Getting among the goals or assists will further boost his confidence and help Arsenal probably cement their place at the top of the pile.
Arsenal 3-0 Fulham
The Gunners have been good this season but also improve with each game. After losing their control in games against Crystal Palace and Leicester City, they dominated for the majority of the proceedings against Bournemouth. Arteta will be demanding more from the team, and the players will be eager to put on a show.
The Emirates is traditionally a hard place for teams to beat Arsenal, and that trend should continue when Fulham come here. The Cottagers did get a positive result during their last visit to the ground in 2021, but this is a different Gunners side, who are in form and hungry for three points. Expect the north Londoners to secure a stunning victory, while Ramsdale could be in line for consecutive clean sheets.