FULHAM v ARSENAL 12:45, Craven Cottage (Saturday)
Fulham will have been buoyed by a rare away win last weekend and with new signings Darren Bent, Scott Parker and Adel Taarabt pushing for starting places the Cottagers will have reason for further optimism ahead of Saturday’s match. Martin Jol will be without first choice goalkeeper Martin Stekelenburg following the Dutchman’s shoulder injury sustained against Sunderland, so David Stockdale is likely to deputise. Fulham have only lost one of their last five league matches against Arsenal and after the Gunners dismal performance against Aston Villa last weekend, the Cottagers will feel victory is possible.
Arsenal bounced back from their embarrassing 3-1 home defeat to Aston Villa last weekend with an impressive 3-0 victory over Fenerbache on Wednesday. Arsene Wenger has come under huge criticism at his side’s lack of signings this summer and knows he cannot afford to lose ground on the likes of Spurs and Liverpool who both won last weekend. If Arsenal are to finish in the top four this season, this is a game they should win, but a London derby away from home will be a difficult task given the amount of pressure they are currently under.
What to watch out for: Darren Bent could make his Fulham debut on Saturday and it wouldn’t be a surprise if the former Spurs and boyhood Arsenal fan got off the mark.
Fulham – Stockdale; Reither, Hughes, Hangeland, Briggs, Taarabt, Sidwell, Boateng, Duff; Ruiz; Berbatov
Arsenal – Szczesny; Jenkinson, Sagna, Mertesacker, Gibbs; Cazorla, Ramsey, Wilshere; Walcott, Giroud; Rosicky