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Craven Cottage



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.

Vital Quotes:

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.'

Fulham Team News:

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.

Player to watch: Marlon King

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 Team News:

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.

Player to watch: Manu Adebayor

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!

Ref Watch:

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.

Match Prediction:

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.

Writer:Nick Simmonett
Date:Friday January 18 2008
Time: 10:36PM

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Oh my God. THE most negative prediction ever in the history of the world. Fulham are turd. I mean genuine turd. You don't think we are desperate for a win? Marlon King...what a player.
18/01/2008 23:13:00
I don't care what way we win I just want the three points and will sombody tell me what the hell is going on with RVP his season is now gone or as good as. Theo should be loand out to the end of season as he is lacking in confidence and needs more games to regain his match fitness, somthing we can no longer afford to give him as we go into the end run of the season.
18/01/2008 23:17:00
Armory, I disagree. I believe that the performance is the key aswell as winning. Another scraping through win will not help Wenger or the players confidence. They put an emphasis on winning in style and if they do not do this they will not be happy. Of course fantastic football and a defeat is no good but that is more promising than winning when we were outplayed by a lesser team.
18/01/2008 23:31:00
Goofle we were pathetic against Everton in the first half but BUT we won ugly and somtimes winning ugly is somthing that will win you titles or cup's and will also give you confidence, do you honestly think that Utd did always play the well last season when they won the title. I do hope though that we will win the game playing the way only we can do but to me as I said the three points are all that matters.
18/01/2008 23:42:00
Well done Simmo, I'm chuffed you predicted a loss which now gives me some hope we might win! I share the opinion of those blogs that reckon this game is going to point the direction we head in for the second part of the season... I don't think that's overly dramatic given that recently we have been off colour... if we thrash Fulham we'll regain our confidence and be in with a chance for the title, but if we lose/draw we will end the season 4th. There have been countless times this season when I watched our boys come from behind, or win up North, or hold onto games in a way we never would last year. That's what I hope to see more of tomorrow. Come on you Gunners!!
18/01/2008 23:42:00
Im sure if United won is style they would have had more confidence than scraping a win.
18/01/2008 23:50:00
Confidence is brittle it only takes one or two players to feel unsure and it will affect the performance of the whole team utd did lose their confidence at times in their title winning seasons and so did Arsenal for that matter but they kept on winning their games and got over it, that is excactly what we need to keep doing, would anyone honestly care how we win against Fulham if those three points win us the title.
18/01/2008 23:59:00
Im the sort that has always valued the quality of football put on show. I would rather finish fourth and be entertained than win the league being boring.
19/01/2008 00:18:00
Goofle we'll never be boring under Wenger but we need to be economical that is win even when we are not at our best as is the case at the moment. I'm sure that the swagger will come back in few weeks but until then lets just keep on winning an saying that it's better to be fourth than play bad football sounds a bit like our poor relations down the seven sisters road it's their eternal excuse.
19/01/2008 00:26:00
Simmo's predictions are getting outrageous. Good that he didn't jinx us though. And other than that, I also agree to other things Andy said. It's a pretty good indication of the team's real character - which has been tested and retested, but Birmingham was a bit of a wake-up call. I'm pretty confident they'll bounce back nicely.
Lou the Gunneress
19/01/2008 00:57:00
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