After losing ground in the race to finish in the top four in midweek, Arsenal make the short trip to Fulham searching for a third consecutive victory on the road.
The Gunners could only manage a goalless draw with Champions League rivals Everton on Tuesday, bringing an end to a run of four wins on the trot. Then, following Chelsea’s comfortable victory 24 hours later, ironically against Saturday’s opponents Fulham, Arsene Wenger’s men dropped back down to fourth in the table, a point behind Chelsea and two ahead of Tottenham having played a game more than both.
However, with both Chelsea and Spurs facing tough league fixtures this weekend against Liverpool and Manchester City respectively, Arsenal will know that victory against a Fulham team that looked against Chelsea as if they were on now on their holidays after securing safety, could provide a critical blow in their bid to feature in Europe’s top competition next season.
Wenger has now new injury worries from the bruising clash with Everton, thoguh goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski remains out with a cracked rib, meaning Wojciech Szczesny will continue to take his place in-between the sticks.
Elsewhere, Tomas Rosicky remains a doubt with a hamstring problem as Jack Wilshere continues to make a shaky return to the first-team from his own injury absence. Up front, Wenger must choose between Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Gervinho and Lukas Podolski for the wider positions, though there is a possibility that Olivier Giroud’s profligate display against Everton could cost him a starting place.
For the Cottagers, Steve Sidwell is available again after completing a three-match ban but winger Damien Duff is absent with a thigh strain. However, the Irishman’s absence will be covered by the return of Alexander Kacaniklic from a loan spell at Burnley, who scored in Fulham’s 3-3 draw at the Emirates in the reverse league fixture this season.
See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Fulham