Arsenal host Fulham at the Emirates, looking to maintain their perfect record on the season. The Gunners are unbeaten in their last 10 Premier League matches against the Cottagers (8W, 2D) and haven’t ever lost at home in the Premier League to Fulham (26W, 4D). I’m currently knocking on every piece of wood around me, don’t worry.
Mikel Arteta’s side took full points against Marco Silva’s bunch last season, 2-1 at the Emirates in the fall and 3-0 at Craven Cottage in the spring. That second result is deceiving, however. Fulham were without Joao Palhinha, their midfield engine, and Arsenal completely controlled the center of the park. He’s available for selection today but coming off a shoulder injury that forced him to miss the Brentford match. It’s unclear how many minutes he’ll have in his legs, although generally shoulder injuries shouldn’t impact his overall fitness that much.
Fulham will also be without top scorer from last season Aleksandar Mitrović who moved to Saudi club Al Hilal. Raul Jimenez, signed over the summer from Wolves, has started up top in the first two matches of the year. Familiar face, or should I say familiar oiled-up arms, Adama Traore is also now with Fulham. Centerback Tim Ream is suspended after picking up two yellow cards against Brentford, so youngster Calvin Bassey will start for the first time alongside Issa Diop. Willian faces a late fitness test.
Arsenal’s injury news this week was positive: both Oleksandr Zinchenko and Gabriel Jesus returned to training and are fit for selection. It’s probably too soon for Jesus to start, but don’t rule it out. Expect Zinchenko to start at left back, which means that we may see the reintroduction of Gabriel Magalhaes to the Arsenal starting lineup. The big question is who will drop to the bench — Thomas Partey, Declan Rice, or Kai Havertz.
If you’re looking for a bit more pre-match content, I went on Cottage Talk, an all things Fulham podcast to preview the match. Russ, the host, is great and shared some interesting bits of info about the Cottagers.
Arsenal - Ramsdale, Partey, White, Saliba, Kiwior, Rice, Odegaard, Havertz, Saka, Martinelli, Trossard
Introducing our starting XI…— Arsenal (@Arsenal) August 26, 2023
Saliba in defence
Kiwior at left back
Trossard returns in attack
COYG ❤️ pic.twitter.com/LLfHDpK1y7
Fulham - Leno, Tete, Diop, Bassey, Rboinson, Palhinha, Lukic, Andreas, Wilson, Raul, De Cordova-Reid
WHAT: Arsenal vs. Fulham
WHERE: The Emirates
WHEN: Saturday, August 26th 7 am PT | 10 am ET | 3 pm BT
US TV: Broadcast on USA. Streaming on NBCSports.com.
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