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Fulham vs. Arsenal

Craven Cottage



Arsenal v. Fulham

Arsenal faces Fulham Saturday evening, and the Cottagers have been a tricky opponent for the Gunners in the last few seasons. Roy Hodgson's side was one of only two teams to take 4 points off Arsenal last season. If we have title aspirations, then only getting one point off of our West London neighbours is not good enough. This is a game we must win, and you'll see later in the quotes section, the opinion in the dressing room is exactly the same.

Quick Vital Quotes:

As I said earlier, Arsenal feels they need to win this match. Here is van Persie's view on the trip to SW6.

'It is very, very tough,' he said. 'I saw the game against Everton and they were very decent and it was a very good goal from Damien Duff. It's going to be hard but as long as we can put the pressure on the opponent, play together and share the goals then I'm quite confident.'

'If you look last year, the way Manchester United became champions was against the smaller teams. They won against all the teams from 19 to 10. That is why they became champions. So it is very important to win these games maybe even more in the end.'

While it is probably unfair to class Fulham as a bottom half team, the gist of the argument is still correct.

Fulham Team News:

Fulham are struggling for goals this season, but they beat us and Manchester United at Craven Cottage, so visitors beware.

Erik Nevland, Andrew Johnson, and Simon Davies are all out.

Player to watch: Danny Murphy

Murphy has been an integral part of Fulham's success over the past 18 months. He runs the midfield well, and in last season's clash, there was not a better player on the pitch. That needs to change tomorrow.

Arsenal Team News:

Last season I listened to an interview with van Persie, and he had an interesting take on the defeat to Fulham. He talked about the sense of disbelief on the bus ride home after the Fulham match last August. Well it's not really that interesting, because it was pretty obvious to us supporters, but nevertheless, hearing the admission of guilt from a player made it interesting to me at least. They thought they were entitled to those three points.

I don't expect that to happen this year. Arsenal will be focused and ready to inflict some revenge and regain a little pride.

Some positive injury news coming out of Colin Lewin's office yesterday is that Arshavin is fit and van Persie has most likely recovered from a slight problem. Almunia is still out however, and Wenger seems indecisive on who will guard the net, after Szczesny good preformance against West Brom.

Predicted Starting XI: Szczesny, Sagna, Gallas, Vermaelen, Clichy, Song, Diaby, Fabregas, Arshavin, van Persie, Eduardo

Player to watch: Robin van Persie

Robin has spoken out about his disappointment in his own goal tally for this season, and I think he'll grab one today.

Ref Watch

Martin Atkinson will be the head official for this one. He was also the ref in last season match at Craven Cottage.

If the games tied at 90 minutes, I expect a minimum of 6 minutes of added time......

Match Prediction:

I said I'd be happy with a 1-0 win against Wigan, and I'd gladly take a 1-0 win here as well. van Persie to nick a goal for the red and white.

Next Fixtures:

29/9 (Tue) - Olympiacos (h) - Champions League

4/10 (Sun) - Blackburn (h) - Premier League

17/10 (Sat) - Birmingham (h) - Premier League

The match will be on ESPN in England, and FSC in the States.

The Journalist

Writer: Brice Coffer Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday September 25 2009

Time: 10:01PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Great preview. Hope Rosiscky and Theo play a part at some point in the game. The manager may consider using Nicky B if only for the need for some height against a tall Fulham defence (we can also choose to play it, strictly, on the ground and make their tall men redundant). The Gunners should win this; first half will be a war of attrition, then we shall become more comfortable in the second and blow them away.
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25/09/2009 23:07:00

Vermaelen to outjump Hangeland and score from a corner? Also, I hope Szczesny starts. Manonne has never looked comfortable for me at any level. Szczesny is visibly inexperienced but still has more authority than Manonne. He's a very talented keeper IMO.
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26/09/2009 00:40:00

"If the games tied at 90 minutes, I expect a minimum of 6 minutes of added time......" Haha, i love it. I'm expecting a win for us in this match, but i always hate expecting to win matches. An away win at Craven Cottage is not an easy win for any club.
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26/09/2009 02:37:00

Indeed Rob, I can see that coming! Verm to score!
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26/09/2009 11:19:00

totally unrelated, but we are taking on Liverpool in the 4th round of Carling Cup at the Emirates..ah i still remember the last time we played them in this cup... Baptista played arguably the best game of his itinerant football career... wonder what it will be this time though...:-)
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26/09/2009 14:05:00

A mouth watering game to look forward to. A mixture of youth and experience will be needed at this stage, considering the opposition will be up for it, on the evidence of the personnel they had on show against Leeds last time out.
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26/09/2009 15:54:00

3rd min of added time... and i am biting my nails
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26/09/2009 19:17:00

Mannone for knighthood...:-)
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26/09/2009 19:21:00

That was hard work but 3 points more than we got out of the game last season.
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26/09/2009 19:23:00

"I said I'd be happy with a 1-0 win against Wigan, and I'd gladly take a 1-0 win here as well. van Persie to nick a goal for the red and white." I must say an excellent prediction by yours truly!
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26/09/2009 19:23:00

Vito earns his 1st MotM champagne!!
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26/09/2009 19:24:00

I hear van Persie can't play up front on his own... DON VITO!
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26/09/2009 19:31:00

Mannone - take a bow.
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26/09/2009 19:32:00

Great performance by the young keeper. Exhilirating game; not easy, by any stretch. This was a mature display by the lads and 3 points in the bag. Only hope Fulham can put up similar displays against (a certain) other London side(s).
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26/09/2009 19:32:00

almunia hasnt had a save to make this season, Manonne came in and made 4 match winning saves in one match!!
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26/09/2009 19:54:00

Agree with you, 49ers. On this performance, any bets that Almunia's "stomach infection" continues to keep him out longer?
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26/09/2009 20:05:00

i agree with the poll, made some fantastic saves
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26/09/2009 21:26:00

Hi everyone, I need your help. I got back from my honeymoon in Mauritius late last night. I have seen RVP's brilliantly taken goal against Fulham, but what was the Adebayor song that I could hear in the background ??? I will understand if you have to edit the language !! Please someone tell me, I would love to know the song.
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27/09/2009 09:14:00

he's 5 foot 4, he's 5 foot 4, we've got Arshavin, **** Adebayor!
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27/09/2009 09:23:00

We were ***** and got away with it, the team was shocking and Fabregas looks a shadow of his former self, Arshavin was nowhere near his best and dont start me on Sagna the less said the better. But on the positive site Song was very good and I was very very impressed with Mannone. Armory
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27/09/2009 11:11:00

We weren't good at all. There was something definately not right with Andrey, his body language was awful. Probably his fitness though. I don't think Cesc has been at his best all season, however lets not forget his assist.... what a pass! Sanga was poor. I think it's the full backs that suffer with this formation most!
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27/09/2009 11:21:00

Hey Fellas! We have been accused of not being able to 'win without being pretty' (winning ugly); we have also been concerned by the inability to keep consecutive clean sheets. This was it....and Istill hear groans? When you can win matches as this, it is a good sign that lessons will be learnt. The boys showed maturity, kept their heads (mostly) despite the pressure they must have felt and did not try to force the issue (something they ordinarily do, resulting in errors at the back). After a difficult first half, the team was a bit more assured in the second with Vito looking like he could not be beaten. Individually, there were some below average performers, but that is why it is a team! I like the 3 points and, oh! to sometimes win a game where the other team feels they were better (for a change).
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27/09/2009 12:21:00

I think both Cesc and Andrei are carrying knocks. Hence the not-so-good body language.
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27/09/2009 12:40:00


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