We make the short trip across London to the Cottage today against Fulham. Against London opposition this season we have a 100% record! Winning six out of six, and Fulham however have not won a London derby in thirteen attempts; since beating us at Craven Cottage 29/11/06!
Fulham haven't won a game in 11 and we haven't lost in 10, despite not playing well lately. Surely this bodes well, picking up points and not losing while not playing to our full potential. This game pits second top against second bottom which would suggest an easy game for Arsenal judging by the run of games both clubs are in. I don't think this will be easy. Teams raise their game an extra 10% against Arsenal, and I expect the same from Fulham today.
The team news for Arsenal is;
Arsenal look set to have winger Tomas Rosicky back following a virus, but striker Robin van Persie is sidelined by a niggling thigh problem.
Johan Djourou (groin) is also out while Kolo Toure, Emmanuel Eboue and Alex Song are at the Africa Cup of Nations
Arsenal (from): Almunia, Sagna, Senderos, Gallas, Clichy, Rosicky, Fabregas, Flamini, Hleb, Eduardo, Adebayor, Lehmann, Gilberto, Diaby, J Hoyte, Bendtner, Denilson, Walcott.
Wenger seems up for it, judging by recent comments;
"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."
We have a great record against Fulham in the Premiership we have beaten them 11 times, which is more then any other side. We also have the best scoring record against them too, banging in 30 goals.
If Cesc starts which is expected, then he will be making his 150th start for the club. That is phenomenal for a 20 year old. I fancy us to grind out a result today. I dont think it will be a "pretty" match. Fulham will come for a battle and Arsenal have proved this season that we are more than up for that. When we opened our season against Fulham and took the three points, it set us up for the season. I believe that was one of the first "big" tests that we faced and we passed it. It gave us belief in the side and more importantly, it gave the side belief.
I think we will grind out a 2-0 victory, and hopefully Ade will score first. We have never lost when he's on the scoresheet. Expect a tight game and a battle. I think our extra quality will show.
Keep it Goonerish.