Writer: Nick Simmonett
Date:Friday January 18 2008
Arsenal will hope to get their title charge back on track when they visit Craven Cottage on Saturday to face a Fulham side fighting for their Premiership survival.
Arsene Wenger will want to get his side fired up for this one after two poor draws saw them surrender top spot to Manchester United last weekend.
Arsenal could finish the weekend three points ahead of United, or three points behind them and just one ahead of Chelsea.
No matter what the result, Fulham cannot climb or fall from their current 19th place in the league. The sit 5 points from safety and 8 points ahead of Derby.
Fulham are in desperate need of a win after not winning any of their last 6. Last six: P6 W0 D3 L3.
Arsenal are also in desperate need of a win, but for very different reasons. The Gunners are in need of a confidence boost after drawing their last 2 games. Last 6: P6 W3 D3 L0.
Fulham Gaffer Roy Hodgeson: 'I don't care whether you are up there with Arsenal or at the bottom, it is the type of match footballers want to play in.
'It is the type of match players want to ensure we have next season.
'Every game takes has a cup final character.
We have full respect for any opponent but we also are quietly confident we can give them a good game.'
Arsene Wenger once again spoke of his belif in his side: 'There is a real hunger and we are all on the same wavelength.
'We have the same love for the game, and that drives you on.
'You feel there is a potential in the side and that you want to win, but they want to win as well. We have taken a step forward this season.
'That makes me believe we can win trophies at the end of the season.'
New striker Marlon King is set to come straight into the starting line-up for the struggling Fulham as they look to add some potency to their attack.
However, fellow new-comer Brede Hangeland was not registered in time to face Arsenal.
Paul Konchesky is suspended, but Jimmy Bullard looks set to return from a long-term injury.
King is a real power house up front. He's excellent at holding up the ball, and is very strong in the air. He'll also be out to impress his new manager and fans.
Arsenal have been dealt another injury blow after Arsene Wenger revealed that Robin Van Persie was ruled out for upto a month. He's due to return to Holland for two weeks to recover from injury, before returning to England. it'll be a further week or two before he's back in the team.
Johan Djourou is also out, he'll be missing for around two weeks with a groin injury.
Arsenal will once again have to call upton the Togo hit-man to spearhead the Arsenal attack after Van Persie was ruled out with a fresh injury. He's due an awesome performace, let's hope it comes on Saturday!
Peter Walton will referee the match on Saturday. He's been in charge of 13 Premiership games this season, dishing out 2 red cards and 46 yellow's.
2-1 Fulham. They're in desperate need of a win, and with a new manager and a good new signing in the form of King, I think Arsenal's title chances will be dealt another blow.
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Date:Friday January 18 2008
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|4. Man Utd||22||11||7||4||15||40|
|7. West Ham||22||10||6||6||10||36|
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